Since 2005, an Australian plastic and reconstructive surgery, or Interplast, team has been consulting annually with numerous Ni-Vanuatu at the Vila Central Hospital. The Interplast team is one of a number of Australian medical specialist teams, which, thanks to Australian Government funding, travel to Vanuatu each year.
The Interplast team visited yet again from 19 to 24 October. Approximately 40 consultations were organised. Thirty 30 successful operations were completed as a result of these consultations.
In addition to treating patients, the Australian specialists from Interplast, in coordination with a local surgeon, Dr Sam Kemuel, also trained local medical staff. As a result of this long-standing partnership, huge improvements in the clinical capacity of the local staff at Vila Central Hospital were noted by the visiting team.
Children as young as four months old made up 75 per cent of patients treated by the Australian team. The majority of operations performed included the treatment of cleft, a condition of facial malformation.
“Health is one of Australia’s aid program priorities. Visiting medical teams, such as the Interplast team, are able to administer important treatments that wouldn’t otherwise be available in Vanuatu. The Australian Government is very proud to help improve the lives of ordinary ni-Vanuatu through these visits”, said Kevin Smith, First Secretary (Development Cooperation) at the Australian High Commission.
Interplast is supported by the Australian Government as part of its continuous support to Vanuatu’s health sector. These visits aim to empower local health workers to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of specialised treatments provided in the region.
“I thank the Australian Government for assisting once again with the treatment of large numbers of patients and for the on-going training of staff members at the Vila Central Hospital”, said Dr Sam Kemuel.