Topic: Education

Students to help rebuild Vanuatu medical centres

By Aroha Treacher
  • North Island: East Coast

Five months on since Cyclone Pam ripped through Vanuatu the island is still in need of much repair. Trades students from the Eastern Institute of Technology (EIT) are off to Vanuatu to put their skills to use and help rebuild the community.

Cyclone Pam, a category five, had winds of up to 300km/h which caused utter devastation to the island nation killing at least eight people.

Various aid agencies had helped out with the initial response, but months later, construction work is desperately  needed to get the community back on its feet.

Trades students from the Eastern Institute of Technology will head off to Vanuatu in September to help rebuild and re-open the medical centre there.

"Currently people have to drive to Port Vila, which is about 40 minutes away, or catch a bus, which comes around every four hours.  In an emergency they are in real strife so opening this medical centre is as huge help to the community and the Northern Island," says Todd Rogers, Head of Trades at EIT.

Through sponsorship and funding from various outside agencies and industry training organisations have helped finance the flights and accommodation for students. 

Vanuatu’s Ministry of Health has also come onboard to help with the trip, by covering the cost of repair materials while the EIT team will be taking their own tools and equipment.