TAFEA Health Centre and the impact made by Cyclones Judy and Kevin

Cyclones Judy and Kevin were a pair of intense tropical cyclones that made landfall on the Pacific island nation of Vanuatu within 48 hours of each other in March 2023. They were the fourth and fifth named storms of the 2022–23 South Pacific cyclone season respectively, as well as the second and third severe tropical cyclones of the season. By the end of February, Judy had affected the Solomon Islands, and shortly after, Kevin began to affect the country. The nations were pounded by powerful winds and destructive seas. Vanuatu was heavily affected, being struck by both cyclones two days apart. The government asked Australia and New Zealand for aid shortly after Judy's passage. On 3 March, as Kevin was impacting the islands, a magnitude 6.5 earthquake hit just west of Espiritu Santo, and then a magnitude 5.5 earthquake aftershock hit the island shortly after. Nonetheless, no deaths or significant injuries have been reported in connection with either cyclone.

The Impact of Kevin and Judy on the TAFEA Health Centre

This month has proven to be a difficult time for the community of Tanna Island and the country of Vanuatu. Cyclone Kevin and Judy’s devasting effects on the land will take many months to repair, but the psychological effects on the people and the physical damage to the TAFEA Health Centre will take much longer to repair.

How has the invaluable service that TAFEA Health Centre offers to the Tanna Island community been impacted?

The damage to the centre has been substantial, but teams of volunteers have put their hands up to help rebuild the clinic and the nurses’ homes. The hope is that we can rebuild these structures strong and durable enough to withstand any future weather events that are inevitably expected on Tanna Island.

The Health Centre has suffered a lot of water and structural damage, but we are very grateful that the damage was not as completely devastating as it could have been.

(Above) Nurse Johnson’s damaged that we are buying building materials for now.

Even though it was very dangerous, our guardian of the clinic managed to save most of the medical supplies and equipment for which we are eternally grateful.

In the coming months, as we repair and rebuild, we have plans to extend our small aid post and build future structures to support the clinic. Through future donations, we hope to offer assistance to help rebuild other aid posts and health centres that also require help. The need for health care outcomes continues at the clinic and outposts, so an ongoing supply of medicines is being sourced now.

(Above) One of the supported aid posts to repair if funding is available.

Our nurses Angela and Johnson were able to attend to the sick and injured almost as soon as the weather settled, and we are very grateful for God’s protection as the damage could have been far worse. We will keep you posted as to the repairs and rebuilding that will, God willing, commence as soon as the weather settles.

(Above) We are finding that there is an increasing number of babies and children who are extremely underweight. There is a desperate need to provide nutrition for this health concern. Your financial help would be truly appreciated.

In addition, we have been approached by other groups for humanitarian aid such as food and medicine and we are figuring out how we can best meet their requests with what we have. 

Thank you for everyone's help; your love and care are truly appreciated.

TAFEA Health Care, Director.

Jeannie Barton RN RM CHN DipC IPN


The TAFEA Health Care Association was formerly known as The Loanialu Health Clinic Inc.