Vanuatu Doctor Strides Forward Despite Challenges

10 May 2019
Dr. Sereana Natuman shares some of the daily challenges she faces working as a doctor at Vila Central Hospital.
in NEWS: Health

We have some fantastic news at MJF Health! Our crate of supplies landed in Port Vila and is being put to use in the medical department right now! Thanks to supporters like you, we were able to donate much needed equipment, like tourniquets, oxygen masks, ECG paper and heaps more. It’s hard to imagine just how it must be for a doctor at the Vila Central Hospital, so we had a chat with one of the hard working and incredibly inspiring doctors working in the medical department, Dr. Sereana Natuman. We’re delighted to share our conversation with you.

MJF: How have you found the equipment from MJF?

SN: Very very helpful! MJF asks us what we need…they have provided equipment and consumables that is of dire need for us. The equipment provided is all new and the consumables are of good quantity. We have started using [the] donations that was given to us from January 2019 which has made an immense difference to delivering health services.

MJF: What is it like working at Vila Central Hospital?

SN: It is very challenging. Challenging because most times it is so difficult [for everyone] to understand what the challenges are at the clinical level in terms of human resources, more and newer equipment, consumables – these are resources that we need to provide a better health service for our people…it basically feels we are all talking in a different languages in terms of basic urgent medical care. This is enough to make any doctor give up. However, working with the patients encourages us to stay and continue doing our best for our people despite the challenges, and I truly believe we will be rewarded in the end.

MJF: Where did you study?

SN: Fiji School of Medicine 2001-2006, Bachelor of Medicine / Bachelor of Surgery, Fiji National University-2011- Post-Graduate Diploma in Internal Medicine, Fiji National University- 2012-2014- Masters of Medicine in Internal Medicine

MJF: What motivated you to study medicine?

SN: My keen interest in investigating the causes of people’s symptoms, treating them for it and seeing them improve.

MJF: What are you most proud of?

SN: Able to provide care that was only initially provided by overseas visiting specialists e.g. echocardiography and endoscopy services. Teaching medicine to interns and observing them able to either manage cases on their own or refer cases to physicians whom they think would need our input.

MJF: Is there anything else you would like to say?

SN: Thank you to the kind hearts of MJF Health!


Strong working relationships at VCH

Strong working relationships at VCH

We have formed an excellent working partnership with the Medical and Paediatric departments over the years, enabling us to reliably provide equipment otherwise impossible to access.



June saw the long-awaited delivery of our 50 emergency nursing packs, or ‘Rapid Assessment Kits’ as they were dubbed by staff at the Vila Central Hospital.

“We are already using everything”

“We are already using everything”

According to VCH’s Head of Medical Department Dr. Sereana Natuman, every item in the MJF’s recent crate delivery has already been used at least once, from the nasal cannulas to the defibrillator. 

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