News Release

Church Funds Village Healthcare Initiative in Vanuatu

Representatives of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the government of Vanuatu on September 20, 2018.

In the memorandum, the Church agreed to work together with the government to tackle humanitarian needs in Vanuatu and help with a localized health worker training program.


The “Village Health Worker Program,” which the Church will fund, aims to provide needed medical outreach and diagnostics for communities in Vanuatu that would otherwise lack access to needed care.

Approximately 250 workers in six provinces will be trained in various ways to help prevent and diagnose noncommunicable diseases like diabetes and hypertension.

Their primary training will be in health education so they can teach local communities how to prevent these diseases. Workers will also be trained on how to use diagnostic equipment (diabetes monitors, blood pressure cuffs, etc.) to test for noncommunicable diseases.

The purchase of the necessary supplies and equipment will also be funded by the Church. 

Noncommunicable diseases are a huge concern in Vanuatu. A 2012 survey revealed that 20 percent of the country’s population has diabetes, and one hospital reported that 70 percent of all deaths at their facility were noncommunicable disease-related. Early recognition of these problems could prevent further complications like diabetes-related amputations.

The health workers will also be trained in basic medical procedures and birthing procedures.


The program will continue until 2020, and fits in with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ core belief in helping others.

President Joseph F. Smith, a former prophet of the Church, emphasized the importance of humanitarian aid.

“If we can uplift and ameliorate the condition of mankind, it is our mission to do it,” President Smith said. “It is an essential part of our religion to do it.”

Current president of the Church, Russell M. Nelson, explains further: "When we follow Jesus Christ we act as He would act, love as He would love."

Learn more about the Church’s humanitarian efforts here.

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