I have to start by thanking all of our very important medical volunteers, maintenance and other volunteers, as well as local and international supporters who provide the personnel, resources, equipment and finances that have allowed Medical Santo to provide much needed medical care to so many people in communities around Santo and the northern islands. The Medical Santo staff and volunteers have done an outstanding job in providing the medical services and support to the people of Vanuatu. Without the support, donations and the valuable time given by many people and organisations in Vanuatu, Australia, New Zealand and around the world, we would not exist. So again, to these organisations, companies, individuals and volunteers, thank you very much!
We have continued to support and supplement the Ministry of Health services whenever we are asked and we are able. 2019 was another big year for medical services, medications and treatment. After a very busy 2017 and 2018 with the extra workload of looking after many Ambae volcano evacuees Medical Santo focused once again on our provision of clinical services, rural outreach visits and support of the Northern Provincial Hospital.
After the pilot project in 2018, we continued our Community Based Rehabilitation project, employing and training 4 local ni-Vanuatu staff to search out and offer support to People Living With a Disability (PLWD) on Santo. This team provided advocacy and support for PLWD, their carers, their families and communities. Medical Santo provides a complete care service to this group of people by providing medical attention when required to help alleviate some serious and some not so serious medical conditions.
We have the use of 4 buildings for our clinic and volunteer accommodation, a necessity for our volunteers who provide their valuable expertise. We thank Churches of Christ in Queensland and some special Australian friends for providing these buildings and also thank the many volunteers who have maintained them. Churches of Christ in Queensland has been a major supporter in recent years and has enabled our Vanuatu work to become what it is today. Direct Relief in the USA have supported us with medical donations without which we would not be able to supply many patients with the medications and treatment they require. Many other companies, organisations, families and individuals have all joined us to be a part of Changing Lives in Northern Vanuatu. Medical Santo employed 10 ni-Vanuatu staff who have done an amazing job and they are learning new skills every week. Having a full time clinic manager and volunteer nurse helps enormously with the running and throughput of the clinic.
2020 will see some new challenges and structural changes to allow Medical Santo to meet the future needs, the expectations of the people and communities, as well as new outcomes and programs from the Ministry of Health.
Thank you one and all for your generous support of The Medical Santo Team and to the people living in Northern Vanuatu.
President, Medical Santo Committee inc.