A taste of healthcare in Vanuatu for Paramedic students

Published:03 July 2018

TOP: CQUniversity Paramedic Students Megg Graham (left) and Mackenzie Chapman standing in front of a donated Japanese Ambulance in Espiritu Santo, Vanuatu. BELOW: Left to right, Paul Oliveri (CQUni Lecturer), Rebecca (Bec) Neilsen (CQUni Student Paramedic), Andrew Hodgetts (CQUni Lecturer), Nathanial (Student Paramedic, Promedical Santo), Danah Butler (CQUni Student Paramedic), Jerome (Station Manager, Promedical Santo).

Paramedic Science lecturers from CQUniversity Cairns drew on help from their Nursing academic colleagues to collect 30 kilograms of medical supplies to donate to an Australian-standard ambulance service in Vanuatu.

One of the contributing lecturers, Paul Oliveri said the supplies were collected for Promedical Espiritu Santo, which operates in Espiritu Santo and Port Vila.

"The supplies transported in the lecturers' luggage included health promotion books for children, around 40 pairs of prescription eyeglasses and sunglasses (donated by staff and students of CQUni Cairns campus) and various medical supplies for use in stocking village first aid posts and Promedical Ambulances," Mr Oliveri says.

Promedical Santo relies on both financial and medical supply donations to operate and is the only Australian-standard ambulance service to operate in Vanuatu.

Six of CQUniversity's Paramedic Science students undertook a five-day alternating placement with Espiritu Santo Promedical and Northern Provincial Hospital to learn how healthcare is delivered in Vanuatu.

They continued a seven-day placement in Port Vila with Promedical and other health services following their time in Santo.

CQUniversity lecturer Andrew Hodgetts established the Promedical Station in Santo as an AusAID volunteer before coming on board as a CQUni academic.

"The experience that Andrew was able to provide to students whilst in Vanuatu has been invaluable to their learning, both from a cultural and health service perspective," Mr Oliveri says.

CQUGlobal Outbound programs allow current CQUniversity students to experience life and study from a choice of over 30 countries across six continents.