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.