New Zealand’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nanaia Mahuta, and the Minister of Health, Marco Mahe, unveiled the Mind Care Unit Building yesterday at the Vila Central Hospital. Photo – Doddy Morris


New Zealand’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nanaia Mahuta, and Vanuatu’s Minister of Health, Marco Mahe, unveiled the Mind Care Unit Building yesterday at the Vila Central Hospital (VCH).

The Mind Care Unit Building was refurbished in 2021 in response to damages caused by Tropical Cyclone (TC) Harold and to support the COVID – 19 responses.

The Unit promoted the inclusive delivery of Mental Health Services to all, leaving no one behind. The refurbishment was funded by the Government of Aotearoa New Zealand.

During the unveiling of the building, Minister Mahuta remarked on the longstanding relationship between New Zealand and Vanuatu.

“I am here to continue the nature of that relationship, but to actually acknowledge Vanuatu’s leadership significantly on the issue of climate change,” she said.

“When we think about this facility and support for mental health, we know that we need to do more, because it must be really difficult for many of our families living in villages.

“Resilience is not just about mindset; resilience is a commitment to building on our relationship and building a better future for the people who live in such difficult circumstance.”

She stated that the significance of the impact of climate change through cyclones and natural disasters on the people is something that must be addressed.

“What a privilege it is for me to be here today and open this facility with Minister Mahe, and also the Mind Care team,” Minister Mahuta said.

“I want to acknowledged the Pacific Medical Association team who are here today and the quick response for our Pacific neighbors.”

According to Minister Mahe, New Zealand and Vanuatu have benefited from a great relationship from the past.

“Today, I believe for the future we will have more fruitful outcome. For that, I would like to take this opportunity to express our deepest appreciation towards the Government of New Zealand for being always by Vanuatu side and always good friend to Vanuatu,” he said.

“New Zealand has been a true friend of Vanuatu people, thank you for the help in the past and present, and the help that will come in the future.

“It is a great honor for me today especially for Minister Mahuta to unveil the project that has been waited for long for the people of the Republic of Vanuatu.”

He also said Vanuatu has been through two severe tropical cyclones that has brought the country down to its knees, however, having friends like New Zealand, has always helping Vanuatu get up on its feet.

“Some fruitful partnership with New Zealand, in 2021 New Zealand provide support repairing infrastructure damage by tropical cyclone Harold that was badly damage the northern part of our country. New Zealand was there to help us rebuild our health facilities,” Minister Mahe said.

“I would like to acknowledge the continues support from the government of New Zealand. New Zealand is also currently supporting our children in the Children’s Ward, and also during the COVID-19, New Zealand Government has help Vanuatu to address the crisis that have occurred globally.

“I would like to welcome the Pacific Medical Association who will assist mental health and psychological support. They will be supporting the Ministry of Health’s response to TC Judy and Kevin.”

The Mind Care Unit offers a range of mental health services including outpatient and inpatient alongside training for wider health center.