Before the evacuation in Lolowai Hospital. (Photo supplied)
When we come to a situation that a disaster is a big concern, we need a strong and big medical team as many human lives are on risk but it was not the case when Ambae was severely affected by volcano eruptions and its people have to evacuate their island twice through a state of emergency. The nurses who were also evacuated from Lolowai Hospital have to be praised for what they described as “big sacrifice”.
A reliable source from medical team at Kerepei in North Maewo being also evacuated from Lolowai Hospital said during the evacuations last year and this year, they requested support in relief in terms of human resources “but our request was declined because there was shortage of nurses everywhere in the country and also because nurses from other islands were afraid to come to Ambae due to volcanic activities.”
During the state of emergency, the medical team from Lolowai Hospital and its technical personnel worked in partnership with NGOs being deployed to Maewo to ensure the evacuees were well secured. The medical team comprised of eight registered nurses and two nurse aides, three midwives for maternity with one registered nurse and one nurse aide.
“This team had to work beyond its limits. The nurses had to give their times with the evacuees, during and after working hours. Special duty allowances should be paid to them as they had to work during the disaster period in very difficult conditions,” reports said.