Major Regional Health Professionals Conference Opens In Vanuatu

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More than 300 people discuss issues, including disaster trauma

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Oct. 1, 2015) – More than 300 health professionals from around the Pacific have met in Vanuatu to discuss health issues in the region, including how to deal with mental trauma following natural disasters.

The Pasifika Medical Association conference was officially opened today in Port Vila by the president of Vanuatu, Father Baldwin Lonsdale.

The president of PMA, Kiki Maoate, says many people were affected psychologically by Cyclone Pam, and the mental recovery process is ongoing.

Dr Maoate says the conference will allow participants to share their experiences on dealing with mental health issues.

"There's a significant amount of how you approach communities in times of stress in our particular communities, using drugs might not be the right thing when people either have a different level of anxiety or depression and all those sort of things to the response to the trauma."

The president of the Pasifika Medical Association, Kiki Maoate.

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