Six ni-Vanuatu ProMedical officers who have been studying on duty for years graduated with diplomas in paramedical science on Wednesday evening.

Pascal Nakou, Georges Jack, Celine Eliab, Philemon Kampai, Yvong Toa and Jerome Sese are the first 6 ProMedical officers to graduate with paramedical science diplomas in Vanuatu.

Chairman of the Vanuatu Emergency Services Association (VESA) board, Douglas Patterson states that ProMedical has achieved many things over the years but the graduation of the 6 candidates is a major milestone for everyone.

“Acquiring these diplomas comes at the end of quiet a long journey for these pro medical staff,” he said.

“If I remember correctly, Georges, Yvong and Jerome started their studies in December 2017, in September 2018 Philemon started his studies and in June 2019 Celine and Pascal began their studies.”

The VESA Board chairman says the students faced quite a few challenges such as limited resources, reliable access to internet, availability of computers and the lack of reliable mentors for the 6. In this way, these diplomas are a result of lots of hard work by the ProMedical officers.

The Chairman said the work would not have been possible without Julie Johnson of the Emergency Australia as she put in an immense amount of effort to assist students in achieving success. Additionally, the chairman thanks Wayne Barnes who had travelled to Vanuatu earlier this year, despite COVID specifically to help the students reach the finish line.

The P&O cruises have shared extreme support of the 6 students and plays a major role in the graduation event as it sponsored the learning of the graduating ProMedical officers.

The Australian Deputy High Commissioner, Clemency Oliphant, also congratulated the graduates.

“Even though the pandemic really disrupted your study, you all worked hard through these challenging times and showed how tough you were,” she said. “You continued and showed your commitment and now you are graduating.”

General Surgeon at the Northern Provincial Hospital, Doctor Basil Leodoro presented the graduates with their Ministry of Health practicing license certificate while emphasizing that the emergency care ProMedical, pro rescue and VESA are the only organizations that are focused on premedical care at present.

“They play a very vital role, With COVID- 19 that role is amplified,” Dr. Leodoro said.

“To the 6 graduates, the work that you will do out in the field is a privilege. By accepting these certificates, you are accepting the responsibility to be there for births as well as deaths.”

“For people in their most vulnerable state, you have a role to get rid of that suffering and to bring them to a place they can get the care. With these certificates i ask you to take this responsibility with commitment.”

Volunteer Clinical Instructor, Wayne Barnes thanked the graduates for trusting him as a trainer and as a paramedic in helping them complete their training and reminds the VESA board that its greatest assets is the graduates.

The Efate Team manager and a graduate, Nakou, expressed his great pride in achieving his diploma.

“We worked and studied at the same time and it was difficult,” he said. “Now that we have graduated we will continue to provide and serve our communities.”

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