A Seventh-day Adventist medical mission team has visited one of Vanuatu’s most remote areas for the first time.
The trip to Unap, Big Bay, on Santo Island, was aimed at training and equipping church members in health ministry, and conducting screenings in local villages.
The team comprised doctor Kalbule Willie, nurse Thomas Lapesai, two young ministers Christopher Japheth and James Roriri, Bible worker Hamross Ham, local church member Mr Robinson from Unap Village, and Vanuatu Mission health director Phalguni James. They conducted workshops for church members along with outreach activities at Unap and at Pasena, a neighbouring village.
The outreach activities included home visits using the “Action for Health Families” kit. Through these visits the team got an opportunity to invite the villagers to some of the workshops, evening worships at Unap, and to the clinic for health screenings and consultations. Around 100 people attended the clinic; for many it was the first time they had seen a doctor in years.
The team distributed clothes and prayed with the families after the visits. Local church members will continue visiting the homes and follow-up on the health plans made by the families.
Representatives from various churches along the West Coast and Big Bay travelled to Unap for the healthy ministry training, which was conducted by Mrs James. Tools and resources were provided to assist them.
Health screenings conducted on those attending the training showed alarming results, with 30-40 per cent having very high blood pressure and blood sugar levels. Following the screenings, a workshop on lifestyle diseases was held, emphasising the importance of diet and physical activity. Charts to measure Body Mass Index (BMI), blood sugar and blood pressure were handed out.
“More education and more awareness is needed in rural Vanuatu,” Mrs James said. “Medical missionaries for Jesus are needed because in the field of Jesus there is plenty of work to do.”