Primary Health Care North Pentecost


Why was it initiated?

Discussions about how best to provide teaching to primary care nurses working in health centres in Vanuatu followed on from an earlier invitation to visit North Pentecost from the surgeon general of Vanuatu


What were its aims? 

To upskill knowledge and skills for primary care nurses working in health centres in North Pentecost.
To provide equipment essential to that as an initial show of faith.

When did it run?



Who has been involved?

North Pentecost Health clinic Nurses Amos and Rolline.

MESCH Milton Sales, Maureen O’Neill


What happened?

Milton and Maureen spent 11 days in April 2014 working with Amos and Rolline in the village of Abwatuntora, North Pentecost, Vanuatu. MESCH donated a small amount of equipment (including disposables); some basic general texts suitable for the practice of "remote" medicine; and some washable menstrual pad systems donated and made by a Newcastle sewing group. Joint consultations and minor procedures were undertaken. Educational material was left on a memory stick for Amos to use on his laptop.



The quality of the nurse practitioner and registered nurse is high with some gaps in their knowledge. They are struggling with poor resources and very aware of the need for ongoing education. Having little opportunity to do this due to workforce shortages, they are keen on anything that can be provided by external sources.


All teaching and resources were enthusiastically received by the nursing staff and community. 


Basic resources like lighting, waterproof linen, etc were absent or insufficient.
Cross contamination risks are high both between patients and between medical staff and patients 
Stocks of drugs and equipment run out between deliveries.
Although there is a refrigerator, rubella and mumps are not being immunised against
Instruments are blunt

This promising project is currently more service delivery and resource provision than development. There is no governmental (central or provincial) plan to resolve any of the issues we encountered nor a commitment to engage in a structured educational program. The goals of MESCH are therefore inconsistent with pursuit of the project at this time.


Want to find out more?    Please email