Happy International Womens’ Day? Pregnant women still sleeping on hospital floor in Vanuatu

Vila Central Hospital: pregnant women forced to sleep on the floor in maternity ward

Vila Central Hospital: pregnant women forced to sleep on the floor in maternity ward

silae-vanuaHappy International Womens Day which is being celebrated throughout the country and especially in the market house in Port Vila. At the market there is the launch of an exhibition of photos of members of the Silae Vanua Market Vendor Association who suffered devastation from Cyclone Pam and now face the impact of the El Niño drought on their businesses.

The difficulties faced by Vanuatu’s women were on stark display at Vila Central Hospital, where Health Minister Toara Daniel was appalled to see mattresses on the floor on which pregnant women have regularly had to sleep owing to inadequate provision of equipment and the large numbers of expectant women. The maternity ward was crowded from the start of last week. The sleeping on the floor has been a problem since Independence 36 years ago, Minister Daniel learned. “This should not be happening,” the minister told Daily Post. He said poor management contributed to the problem.

Over 300 health workers serving on a contractual basis are about to become permanent employees after June this year, Health DG Taleo confirmed yesterday All payments of the 115 retired health workers will be made after June. This is part of the 100 Day Plan already announced.

Readers and listeners to the media today are being adequately informed on government measures to protect Port Vila’s water sources. Unelco is working with government in the matter. The primary source at Zone 1 Tagabe, from which comes the Tagabe River, is soon to be locked to prevent any kind of public trespass. Government has acquired the last of the Freshwind land involved, Lands Minister Regenvanu (responsible for water policy and planning) informed those on a tour with Ministers Salwai (PM) and Lini (Climate Change). Human activity has also interfered greatly with previous efforts to protect the water sources and quality of the life-giving liquid after a former minister enabled occupation of the immediate area of the source. A nature reserve of indigenous trees of Vanuatu was established, but many of the trees were cut down for firewood by those living nearby. This project is being resumed. Senior Unelco water management and hydrologists conducted the tour with the three ministers and explained many aspects of the service they continue to offer. The Ohlen tanks were also visited.

In response to social media – and possibly also our story yesterday – NDMO management yesterday, commenting on a report about the tons of food aid recently destroyed, said “aid agencies should give cash.” This was reported after a Radio New Zealand International broadcast interview with manager Shadrack Welegtabit. Possibly Vanuatu Government could provide better management of whatever kind hearted people elsewhere in the world are prepared to give. Why has the NDMO kept maintaining space for the increasingly poisonous stuff? Were they waiting for cash donations to get it to the Etas tip?


One Comment on “Happy International Womens’ Day? Pregnant women still sleeping on hospital floor in Vanuatu”

  1. That is a very sad thing… Hopefully the actual Government will make some improvement in terms of extending the maternity ward.