I was lucky enough to volunteer as a pharmacist in Vanuatu at Vila Central Hospital for 14 months in 2013 and 2014.
I fell in love with the country and the Ni-Vanuatu people, became fluent in their local language, Bislama, and to this day have ongoing contact and input with my counterpart Aggie, the Principal Pharmacist.
Naturally, I am absolutely devestated by the destruction that Cyclone Pam has caused.
In Vanuatu the Government is able to allocate, from it's our resources, 360 vatu, (approximately $4 aus), per person per year for medication.
However the cumulative cost to Vanuatu's Government of treating one patient per annum, who for example, has Type 2 Diabetes, requires insulin with metformin and weekly blood glucose testing is 33 059vatu, (approximately $366.95 aus), more than 90 times the yearly allocation for one patient - therefore effectively using more than 90 other peoples drug allocation for the year.
This was before Cyclone Pam!!
As you can imagine now things are even worse. Part of the roof has been torn off from the CMS, meaning the main server has been damaged and the cool room for medication is no longer working.
Since my time in Vanuatu I have dreamt of establishing a charity/fund/organisation/ANYTHING that is sustainable & allows enough funding, ongoing for all medication on the essential drug list, limitlessly. I still dream of this one day and it will be my ultimate goal, but for now, Cyclone Pam has kicked my butt into gear for a short-term project.
Volunteering in Vanuatu was the most humbling and eye opening experience. I went there to help, teach and give; yet they gave and taught me so much more in return, than I ever expected or could repay.
So for now, this is my baby step to try and help.
Please give generously to my home away from home in their devastating time of need.
Big Love, Zoe xx
- Meghan Warren
- Britt Family
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