5 Jul 2012

French military renovates Vanuatu clinic

3:06 pm on 5 July 2012

82 members of the New Caledonia-based French armed forces have arrived in Vanuatu to renovate Pentecost island's Melsisi health centre which was a French hospital before independence in 1980.

They came on the navy vessel Jacques Cartier and were welcomed with a custom dance performed by high ranking chiefs.

A midwife at the clinic, Edwidge Tabi, says the soldiers will not only renovate the building but also install 28 solar panels and a generator.

She says the electrification will enable the installation of equipment, such as X-ray machines.

The community of Melsisi has been mobilised to feed the French army until the end of the month.