Public Health Vanuatu Review 2019

"This volunteering program was extra special and made me realise that helping others doesn’t bring a sense of joy to them but ourselves too."

Nutrition and public health group outreach 

Extremely sorry for the very long delay…

Thinking back to the two weeks that I spent in Vanuatu volunteering was magical and amazing. It opened up my mind much more, to see the world in greater depths as we should not always take everything for granted.


The challenges that we face in our everyday lives will always take a step backward when we see families in Vanuatu without access to clean sanitation and education as well as limited food supplies of nutritional value. Therefore, this volunteering program was extra special and made me realise that helping others doesn’t bring a sense of joy to them but ourselves too. For example, when a lady who was quite emotional and anxious about her blood glucose levels told me “god bless you” after giving her the all thumbs up news.


Even though I attempt to act as a qualified practitioner, what we can do is so meaningful and adds a little reassurance to our hearts. Throughout these two weeks, we got to measure people’s hip circumference, weight, height as well as blood pressure and blood glucose levels as a part of a free medical check-up for the villagers in Vanuatu. I initially thought that there was a blood pressure monitor provided to take their readings but as soon as we were given stethoscopes I started to freak out.


With numerous practice in our lodge, I was becoming more confident until we got to the actual village setting was a different story. I find it most challenging with background noises around as I was always used to the tranquility and laid-back environment in our lodge for practice. Even some of the children were attached to their parents so it was really difficult getting an accurate measurement from their fidgeting movements. But I think pushing ourselves out of our comfort zones and discovering new things is important as you will never predict where you can be in the future. I wanted to say this because special shout-out to Cherry who always wants me to be the best version of myself encouraged me to sign up and great memories can be made. 

What amazed me was when the newborns were weighed on a supermarket scale as they lacked basic supplies. All in all the Vanuateers (amazing people who I was lucky enough to share the experience with), co-ordinators including Carrun, Meriam and Lynne (incredible mentors making our Vanuatu days much easier and co-ordinated) made it an unforgettable experience and one to never forget!

Haidee Kwok


Nutrition & Public Health Vanuatu


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