VCH Medical Superintendent Dr Santus Wari delivering his speech at the ceremony launching the repair work

by the Minister of Health, Jerome Ludvaune, and the Australian High Commissioner, Jenny Da Rin

By Jonas Cullwick

The rehabilitation work at the Vila Central Hospital (VCH) including repairs to the laboratory and x-ray building –used for pathology and mammogram services – and improvements to the operating theatre, which includes two theatre rooms and a storeroom, will help with improving women’s health, said Dr Santus Wari, Medical Superintendent of the VCH.

He made the comment at the launching of the repair work by the Minister of Health, Jerome Ludvaune, and the Australian High Commissioner, Jenny Da Rin, during a ceremony on Wednesday, June 14 at the VCH.

He called the occasion “an important milestone” to actively raise the quality of care, firstly with women’s health, and to be followed by others, as time evolves, by the Vila Central Hospital.

“We want all women, regardless of race, creed or circumstances to achieve their full potential for good health.

“Our task is to make this possible. Our mission by the way, is to provide step-by-step assistance in managing women’s health through available human resources we have using the laboratory pathology services we have as well as using the radiology and x-ray services we currently have and some in development coming in the pipeline.

“Central to our gathering today is the attention given women with cervical cancer. There are over 200 women in Port Vila with cervical cancer according to the PAP smear (screening test) report that has identified this group of mothers.

“In order to progress further to identify these mothers, we need definitive test, confirmatory test, in a timely manner, can be extended to the women concerned.

“However, those have not been possible, due to certain levels of obstacles, and one of those if what we will be opening the way to today.

“Today’s milestone groundbreaking ceremony will remove those obstacles.”

Dr. Wari said when completed the renovated laboratory will promote the services of diagnostic pathology, one of those obstacles to the management of cervical cancer, and the old theater as part of the plan to will assist cervical cancer work and other aspects of women’s health. All this should enable a systematic management of cervical cancer in Vanuatu, he added.

“Normally, this start with primary health care, counseling and you would know from the recent past, we now have a vaccine, HPV, that’s given to children at early age.

“At another level we have the PAP smear screening.

“And subsequent to the PAP smear screening, we can have another level of procedure they call the Letz, and that’s what we need the theater for.

“Following the letz procedure those specimens would be identified by the pathologists in this lab as to what grade of cancer is in place. Thereafter an operation would be decided.”

The close proximity of the rehabilitated facilities to the maternity ward will facilitate the safer delivery of high-risk births and will increase the surgical capacity of the hospital and of course enhance services for women.

The morgue, that was upgraded recently, will have additional roofing to increase its capacity.

Finally, all original hospital buildings will be rewired to remove exposed cabling and ensure waterproofing.

The repair of six staff houses are also included in the project costing Vt26 million and funded by the Australian Government.

Jonas Cullwick, a former General Manager of VBTC is now a Senior Journalist with the Daily Post. Contact: Cell # 678 5460922

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