1 Oct 2015: Tales of Vanuatu health leaders – book launch tonight

The Pasifika Medical Association (PMA) tonight launches the Ni-Van Navigators book, “Vanuatu Health Leaders Share Their Stories”, as part of the 18th annual PMA conference.

Included in the book are stories written by pioneering Vanuatu medical professionals reflecting on their medical experience and journeys as clinicians for the Vanuatu community.

Medicine in Vanuatu calls for special levels of dedication and service and the success stories in this book celebrate the amazing achievements of a generation of pioneering Ni-Vanuatu health professionals,” says PMA chief executive Mrs Debbie Sorensen.

There’s a real sense of national pride and optimism running through these stories. These doctors have lived and worked throughout the Pacific and they have documented their professional stories and the vital contributions they have made in families, villages and Vanuatu as their home country.”

Mrs Sorensen says the book captures the real life practices in a developing country context and paints a picture of how these doctors have found themselves in situations where they were the only health professional available with limited technology, diagnostic support, equipment and staff.

There are some fascinating stories in the book, covering everything from a surgeon for the whole community, to a prioneering anaesthesiatist, to being a healer and a teacher. The stories demonstrate that vast array of passion about public health, and committment to carrying out the job the best way they can.”

About 10 Vanuatu medical professionals contributed their story inspired by their own medical experiences, including Dr Sereana Natuman, Dr Basil Leodoro, Dr Tildena Mandavah, Dr Willie Tokon, Dr Hensley Garae, Dr Errolyn Tungunaboe, Dr Trevor Cullwicxk, Dr Tony Harry, Dr Richard Leona and Dr Samuel Kemuel.

We hope the stories in this book will inspire the next generation of doctors, nurses and health leaders in the Pacific,” says Mrs Sorensen.

The evening will include PMA Award presentations as well as the presentation of gifts, a formal dinner and book signings.

Mrs Sorensen says this is the fourth book to be launched as part of the PMA Navigators series, and it is a wonderful resource for people interested in healthy communities.

The book will be available for purchase on the PMA website www.pacifichealth.org.nz

ENDS.

For more information contact Angie Enoka, Communications Manager on 021 809 137 or angie@pasifikafutures.co.nz