The Ministry of Health (MOH) has announced the recent signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Fiji National University (FNU) to improve Vanuatu’s healthcare workforce in various health fields.

Under the MOU, FNU will annually allocate a number of places for Vanuatu applicants in various health-related programs, ranging from undergraduate to postgraduate and master’s studies.

These programs include Certificate of Dental assisting, Certificate in clinical Laboratory Technology, Certificate in Phlebotomy, Diploma of Dental Technology, Bachelor of oral health, Bachelor of Dental Surgery, Bachelor of Nursing, Bachelor of Nursing (Lateral entry), Bachelor of medicine and Bachelor of surgery, Bachelor of Physiotherapy, and the Bachelor of Pharmacy.

The Minister of Health, John Still Tari Qetu, expressed gratitude to FNU Professor Unaisi Walu Nabobo-Baba for her commitment to this partnership.

He emphasised the importance of the collaboration in addressing the health challenges faced by Vanuatu, including the shortage of human capacity across various health disciplines.

“In 2016, Vanuatu released its people’s plan, outlining our sustainable development goals by 2030, with a focus on achieving a healthy population enjoying high-quality physical, mental, spiritual, and social well-being,” Minister Qetu said in a statement.

FNU Vice Chancellor and Professor Nabobo-Baba highlighted the importance of the partnership in improving healthcare delivery systems and a vibrant exchange of knowledge and best practices between the two parties.

“Our commitment to this partnership extends beyond providing academic programs; we are dedicated to ensuring the success of each student and the enhancement of healthcare in the Pacific region,” she affirmed.

“FNU pledges to deliver the agreed-upon programs with the utmost diligence and in accordance with the highest academic standards.”

FNU also expressed its commitment to establishing a Family Medicine Master’s program in Vanuatu, including hands-on practical teaching sessions led by expert educators from the university.

Both the MOH and FNU expressed confidence and excitement to begin this collaborative journey, which is expected to result in development in healthcare outcomes and importantly contribute to sustainable development goals.