For the first time ever, the Ministry of Health (MoH) has appointed a medical doctor to serve at the Vaemali Hospital in northwest Epi.

The people and chief representatives from around the island joined the Manager of Vaemali Hospital, Roslinda Omawa and the Chairman of the Epi Tarbumamele Council of Chiefs, Chief Supapo Varasilev, to welcome the junior doctor to another step in his career on Wednesday this week.

Dr Vanua Ilo from Maewo has just completed his internship at the Vila Central Hospital (VCH) after graduating from the Fiji School of Medicine.

The SHEFA Health Office has commended the ministry for appointing a doctor to serve the health needs of the people on Epi.

The appointment of Dr Ilo is a historic appointment in the sense that he is the first ever doctor to serve in an health facility in rural Shefa.

Part of Dr Ilo's responsibility is carrying out outreach not only around Epi but to nearby Shepherds Islands.

The Acting Director General (DG) of the MoH, Johnson Wabaiat, SHEFA Public Health Manager, Willie Reuben and the SHEFA Health Administrator, Morris Amos, traveled to Epi for Dr Ilo's induction on Wednesday.

Acting DG Wabaiat has joined the team to induct Dr Ilo to his new position and at the same time, will have a feel of rural health service.

One of the nurses from Solomon Islands recruited to work at Port Quimie Clinic was also part of the delegation. The team will visit the clinic to introduce the Solomons nurse to his team before coming back to Port Vila. 

Meanwhile, the people of Epi have commended the government, through the MoH for responding to their ongoing demand for a doctor.

Dr Ilo will be living in the fully furnished doctor's house built by the RSE workers from the island. Powered by a 520 watt solar system, the doctor’s house at Vaemali has three bedrooms, a kitchen equipped with utensils, bathroom and laundry area.

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