Island of Tanna, Vanuatu
Lenakel Hospital Emergency Nursing Education
Dr. Afshin Khazei, an emergency physician from North Vancouver, Canada conducted hands-on interactive workshops on common emergency medical problems encountered on the island of Tanna. This was done through simulated patient encounters that the local nurses and nurse practitioners would manage. This would be followed by feedback and answering questions that arose. The resource-limitations and remote/isolated location of Tanna had to be considered in these discussions. Dr. Khazei's previous clinical experience working on Tanna, and in other under-resourced and isolated communities, was very helpful in making these seminars relevant to the unique needs of the learners.
Public Health Education on the Disease Yaws
Yaws is a common chronic infectious disease that occurs mainly in the warm humid regions of the tropics. Yaws features characteristic bumps on the skin of the face, hands, feet, and genital area. Almost all cases of primary Yaws are in children under 15 years of age. Patients with Yaws develop recurring ("secondary") crops of bumps and swollen glands. These bumps may be painless like the mother Yaw or they may be filled with pus, burst, and ulcerate. The affected child often experiences malaise (feels poorly) and anorexia (loss of appetite). In its late ("tertiary") stage, Yaws can
destroy areas of the skin, bones, and joints leading to permanent deformity. The palms of the hands and soles of the feet tend to become thickened and painful. Yaws is a major public health threat in the tropics. Tropical regions in Central and South America, Africa, Asia, and Oceania are all at continuing risk of Yaws. A high percentage of children in such areas can be infected, due to the close interaction of the age group and shared sleeping arrangements. Transmission of the disease is facilitated by overcrowding and poor hygiene, and tends to be more prevalent in undereducated, under-resourced areas.

Research conducted by Dr. Afshin Khazei, an emergency physician from Canada and Daniel Peter, a local nurse practitioner, discovered that Yaws was a significant problem on Tanna. Dr. Khazei created public education posters on the Disease Yaws that were then translated into Bislama, the local language. The posters were distributed to the medical outpost stations for public display and local village education. A one-day seminar was held by Dr. Khazei for 16 of the total 32 aid-post workers on Tanna to provide education on Yaws prevention, diagnosis, and treatment.

Youth Education on the Effects of Alcohol, Marijuana, and other Drugs
Use of Alcohol and other drugs is an emerging problem on Tanna, Vanuatu. The devastating effects of these drugs on indigenous peoples worldwide have been well documented. Caroline Khazei, a radiology technologist, from North Vancouver, Canada created a 4-hour workshop on the effects of drugs on the individual, family, and the community. The format of the workshop is small-group interactive discussion. The students play an active role in their learning by participating in discussions, asking questions, and by preparing artistic or dramatic presentations on the subject. The course booklet was translated into Bislama by Charlie Pearse. In March of 2007, 36 teachers were trained to facilitate this course. Some of these facilitators were then accompanied and assisted to teach students aged 12-16 years old at schools on Tanna. The materials were left with the facilitators for future use.

This approach of training local trainers, who can then teach the course in the local languages, resonates with IEMEA's philosophy of education and capacity building as a means to sustainable development.

Donated School Supplies for Tanna, Vanuatu
Maya Khazei, an 8-year-old grade 3 student and her classmates at Braemar Elementary School in North Vancouver, Canada, collected much-needed donated school supplies for children on Tanna, Vanuatu.
home courses projects charter about contact