Vila Central Hospital, Vanuatu

Cardiac defibrillator for Advanced Life Support delivery in the Emergency department of Vila Central Hospital

Returned volunteer Dr Danielle Clark with Vila Central Hospital Medical Superintendent and Emergency Physician Dr Vincent Atua are purchasing life-saving medical equipment and rolling out training for emergency department staff. 

Project summary:

Currently, the Emergency Department at Vila Central Hospital is using an automatic defibrillator, which is usually for untrained people in the community. By purchasing a manual defibrillator, the trained Emergency staff will be better equipped to be able to potentially save lives of those who have had a cardiac arrest. The defibrillator will also be used on patients who are unwell.  

During her assignment, returned volunteer Dr Danielle Clark supported Vila Central Hospital in 2020 by assisting in building the capacity of the Emergency department, the hospital and the country to treat and manage COVID-19 positive patients. From this work, Dr Clark developed and delivered an Advanced Life Support course to nine Vanuatu healthcare workers, who are now the Vanuatu Advanced Life Support trainers. They subsequently went on to deliver further courses, with a total of 70 healthcare workers trained so far. Advanced Life Support is a core treatment protocol in most healthcare facilities around the world and is only possible with a cardiac defibrillator.  

As such, this piece of equipment will assist Vanuatu healthcare capacity development greatly to be closer to those of a developed country as well as maximise treatment for COVID-19 patients. In addition to purchasing a defibrillator with the grant money, the project allows the returned volunteer to further refine and edit the Advanced Life Support course for future courses. As well as a course on Basic Life Support for healthcare workers outside of Vila Central Hospital and support workers within the hospital, such as drivers, cleaners and nurse aides. These courses aim to improve knowledge of the course participants, while also improving teamwork and communication.  This collectively all adds to improved patient care and patient outcomes and improved systemic protocols for all patients, but in the immediate environment, COVID-19 patients. 


Australian volunteer Dani Clark, Vila Central Hospital
Australian volunteer Dani Clark was an Emergency Response Registrar with the Vila Central Hospital, Port Vila, Vanuatu. In this photo she is with her colleagues (L-R): Roselyn Morribo (Nurse based in emergency) and Adenise Meltemal (nurse aide). Photo: Harjono Djoyobisono
Roselyn Morribo, nurse based in emergency at the Vila Central Hospital,
Roselyn Morribo, nurse based in emergency at the Vila Central Hospital, Port Vila, Vanuatu. Photo: Harjono Djoyobisono