24 Jun 2013

Vanuatu launches project to treat victims of yaws disease

5:10 am on 24 June 2013

Vanuatu Health authorities and the World Health Organisation from today will begin a programme to treat the people of Tafea Province for yaws.

The WHO's liaison officer for Vanuatu, Doctor Jacob Kool, says they will treat everyone in the province over the age of six months for the skin disease.

He says they will be given a course of tablets, replacing the previous treatment method - an often painful injection.

Dr Kool says yaws used to exist in all tropical countries but the WHO believes it can eliminate it.

"But now there are only 13 countries, one three countries, left in the world that have yaws. In the Pacific that is Vanuatu, Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea. So we believe if everybody gets treated with this new drug, at the same time in Tafea Province, it will be gone."

Doctor Jacob Kool.