P&O passengers are being thanked for four new health clinics (Aid Posts) built in remote parts of Vanuatu in 2015, improving the lives of around 2500 people.
When Cyclone Pam tore through the island nation in March 2015 it destroyed homes as well as health and education facilities. Since then, money raised through the P&O Pacific Partnership has been going to Save the Children, which has facilitated the construction of the four new Aid Posts – two on the island of Epi and one each on the islands of Tanna and Tongoa.
These health facilities are staffed by local community health workers and are crucial to the families in these remote areas who don’t have easy access to doctors or hospitals. They are often the first point of contact and provide life-saving treatments such as vaccinations, pre and post natal care and treatment for common illnesses.
The previous Aid Posts which were destroyed by Cyclone Pam were built from flimsy materials, but these new buildings are bigger and constructed from concrete, to better endure storms and double as small cyclone shelters.
The four new health clinics service around 2500 community members in total, with the Lavis Aid Post on Tanna Island having the biggest impact for its community. The area has just one hard to reach hospital, but the Aid Post is now providing health care which is much easier to access to 12 surrounding villages and up to 1000 people. Previously mothers from the Lavis community were forced to give birth to their babies on the floor because it was too small to even fit a mattress, but now the facility can house a bed. Yarni, a mother from Tanna Island said “After the old Aid Post was destroyed by Cyclone Pam earlier this year, I had to walk more than two hours uphill to the next village’s aid post whenever my children were sick. I am so happy we have this new well-built aid post for our community”.
The Pacific Partnership is 100% funded by the donations of P&O passengers.