19 Sep 2017

Vanuatu chief calls for return of air service

7:58 pm on 19 September 2017

A high chief from the isolated west coast of Vanuatu's Santo island has repeated his call for the government to resume air services to Lajmoli airfield.

Chairman of Vanuatu National Council of Chiefs, Seni Mao Tirsupe

Chairman of Vanuatu National Council of Chiefs, Chief Seni Mao Tirsupe Photo: RNZI/Len Garae

Flights to Lajmoli were suspended in 2007 and the only way to reach the area is by copra boat or speed boat which takes six hours from the city of Luganville.

The chief, Seni Mao Tirsupe, who is also the chair of the Malvatumauri National Council of Chiefs, said when a patient from his region urgently needed medical treatment in Luganville Hospital the only solution was death.

He told the Daily Post that a young mother lost her new born baby last month because it took too long to get them to hospital by boat.