Main referral hospitals must be equipped for COVID-19: Acting DG

Acting DG of Health Wabaiat. Photo: Kizzy Kalsakau

The Vila Central Hospital (VCH) and the Northern Provincial Hospital (NPH) in Santo as the country’s main referral hospitals must be fully equipped with necessary equipment to handle COVID-19 cases if there is any detection.

This statement was made by the Acting Director General (DG) of the Ministry of Health (MoH), Johnson Wabaiat, following the recent arrival of COVID-19 related medical supplies such as ventilators, testing kits and masks from China

Some members of the general public have voiced concerns against receiving supplies from China where the virus originates and doubts as there are allegations of China donated COVID-related equipment oversea being faulty

Not only China, but other donor countries like Australia, New Zealand as well as Asian Development Bank and World Bank are also providing assistance to Vanuatu, said the Acting DG.

“We did request this equipment to prepare ourselves should anything happen. We need to take preventive measures,” he said.

“We desperately need this assistance for our two main referral hospitals. For many years till now we only have two ventilators at VCH.

“This donated ICU equipment includes beds, linens, ventilators, gloves, masks and gowns for health workers to use.

“We did not have some of this equipment before. We do have local personnel to do basic installations but anything complex will require additional support.

“An approach has been taken with the World Health Organisation (WHO) to provide support. Hopefully the items will be released from quarantine by end of this week to be installed at the hospitals,” he added.

He assured that transportation of these crucial equipment followed border control measures set in place for the port of entry.

According to Acting DG Wabaiat, the Chinese government is expected to provide further assistance but this is still under discussion.

“Irrespective of whatever we receive, it’s for the services and benefit of our people. Sometimes there is a general view that is negative without analyzing the positive effect of it, particularly the equipment.

“We are in a global society and we should be prepared. The only avenue for us to focus more on is take active preventive measures,” he said.

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