Duo share action plans after Japan-funded Health and Environment trainings

Willie Esau Alick and Osborne Melenamu(centre), flanked by Ms. Ionie Bolenga (DEPC), Mr. Naoki Takechi(JICA), Susan Mania (VIPAM) and Ms. Donna Kalfatak (Director of DEPC). Photo: JICA

Addressing Non-communicable Diseases (NCDs) and effective waste management is vital for Vanuatu, especially when it comes to health and the environment.

JICA Vanuatu recently welcomed back two public servants who attended a month training in relation to these two issues at the Kyushu International Center (JICA Kyushu) in Fukuoka City, Japan.

Mr Willie Alick Esau, a Senior Registered Nurse in NCD Clinic at the Vila Central Hospital (VCH) attended the training on NCDs Prevention and Control in Remote Islands and Regions.

Mr Esau relayed on the first-hand techniques and methods used by Health officials of Japan in addressing physical fitness and health among the public but more interestingly the elderlies who are in home care centers.

With the number of NCD cases escalating within the Pacific region and Vanuatu as well, Mr Esau said methods used in Japan has proved positive outlooks and results which in turn had seen elderlies over the age of 100 looking fit and healthy. Comparing the health trend observed in Japan to Vanuatu, he is very happy to witness medical tactics used in Japan to address the NCD issue.

Esau mentioned one of the many reasons many Ni-Vanuatu residing within both the urban and rural areas within Vanuatu is the lack of adhering to the advices given by health officials, lack of exercise, more stress, buying more unhealthy cheaper foods, and the increase of alcohol drinking and smoking habits. With more awareness carried out, mentality issues are still a challenge.

Having visited a few sites, medical care centers and observing exercise activities in Kyushu, he stressed that having a perfect balanced meal is an important daily activity. He said in Japan there some programs implemented to address NCD issues for example, a Diet modification class, and engaging health facilities with rhythmic exercises.

Mr Esau plans to implement such programs and a few of his action plans to monitor patients effectively. Addressing improved meal ingredients is essential as well. He said having a balanced diet is essentials as each person needs an exact number of calories, proteins in his body. Mr Esau explained one main factor of NCD in Vanuatu is not having a proper diet.

Mr Osbourne Melanamu, Senior Officer Environmental Engineering to the Department of Environment, Protection and Conservation (DEPC) attended the training on Design and Maintenance of Semi Aerobic Landfill site.

He said a landfill is very important when it comes to dealing with general problems within the environment in particular. Mr Osbourne said during the training he also observed firsthand experiments on the methods used in Japan when dealing with their landfill environment mainly known as the Fukuoka method.

Mr Melanamu mentioned currently Vanuatu does not have proper landfill management over the Bouffa landfill on Efate.

For his action plan, he wants to improve the current landfill into a more semi-aerobic landfill system as well as introduce a basic leachate improvement treatment is perfect as equipment and materials needed are less expensive. He plans on implementing such ideas in provincial levels as well.

He added separating and dividing wastes is required to ensure an effective waste management. He explained that working with the Port Vila Municipality is essential to address the issue.

The duo acknowledged JICA Vanuatu for allowing them to attend such trainings. The JICA Vanuatu representative applauded Mr Esau and Mr Melanamu, for attending the programs and confirmed to follow up on their action plans as well.

If necessary, JICA confirmed there are also aid funding towards their programs as well.

VIPAM representatives congratulated both trainees for attending the trainings and stated they will closely monitor their plans and look forward to the implementation.

VIPAM further acknowledged JICA Vanuatu for providing the assistance and support to the two participants.

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