12 Dec 2006

Vanuatu health ministry clarifies stance against documentary

6:05 pm on 12 December 2006

Vanuatu's Minister of Health has defended his ministry over its withdrawal of support for a documentary about one of its former employees who has HIV/AIDS.

A New Zealand documentary maker says the Ministry of Health is trying to cover up the way it handled the case of Irene Malachai and is saddened at the Ministry's last-minute pullout from the film's launch.

Ingrid Leary says this is despite the government's insistence that it is taking a lot more initiative in getting people tested and promoting HIV/AIDS awareness.

But the Minister, Morkin Stevens, has questioned the consultation process in producing the documentary which he feels paints the ministry in a bad light.

"This is not good because we are making policy, they are not making policy. I think they should involve government in this documentary. They are only concentrating on the bad part."

Minister of Health Morkin Stevens