The Northern Provincial Hospital (NPH) set another landmark for health services in Vanuatu by receiving the donation of a bronchoscope from the Australian Catholic University (ACU).

Ms. Maree De Pellegrin, President of the ACU Midwifery Society, who were responsible and raised the funds for the purchase of the bronchoscope, said it was a great honor to see all of their hard work come to fruition.

“We heard an appeal from the Head Nurse in Children’s Ward, to purchase a bronchoscope for the purposes of diagnosing and treating airway and lung problems in children,” she recalled.

“And we have fundraised for over a year and a half to be able to purchase this important equipment.”

The Head of Children’s ward at NPH, Ms Helivson Tabi, spoke of the cases NPH has faced of children choking on seeds and dying due to the fact that there was no bronchoscope available to attempt to remove the seed as there was no bronchoscope.

“We called Vila Central Hospital and even New Zealand and Fiji to ask for help but we could not arrange it in time and the child died,” recalled the teary-eyed senior nurse.

“That is why I asked for this help, and I want to thank ACU and all the students and staff for this life-saving equipment,” concluded Ms Tabi.

A bronchoscopy is a specialized camera and light source that is able to be inserted into the nose or mouth of a patient to allow examination of the human body from the inside. The bronchoscope is the first of its kind in Vanuatu and will be part of the specialist services offered at NPH.

“The bronchoscope will be used by our doctors and specialized nurses to handle outpatient cases,” says Dr Andy Ilo, NPH Medical Superintendent “ And it allows doctors to examine the back of the mouth, the nose and the throat or to handle emergency cases with upper airway and breathing difficulties or even lower down in the lungs.”

A bronchoscope service currently does not exist in Vanuatu and in the past, the bronchoscope equipment had to be brought by visiting teams to be used on ni-Vanuatu patients.

“We are so privileged to have this partnership with ACU and we are grateful for such an expensive piece of equipment that will save lives and assist our patients to diagnose and treat nose, throat and lung conditions,” Dr Ilo said.

With the new bronchoscope came bronchoscopy training provided by the supplier, STORZ, which is a German company with a reputable history and presence in the Pacific. READ MORE