Sixty-two people have graduated from the first Complete Health Improvement Program (CHIP) held in Vanuatu.
Participants showed impressive results after the four-week program, including reduced sugar and cholesterol levels as well as blood pressure. Each person also experienced weight loss.
“I have undergone five major operations,” said Josephine Garae. “Before CHIP, I felt tired easily and very huge and heavy. CHIP has given me my life back.”
Ms Garae said she feels lighter and more vibrant, and that she would “recommend CHIP to anyone who wants to experience living more and being more productive”.
The program was organised by the Vanuatu Mission’s Health Ministries department, with Carol Boehm from the Trans-Pacific Union Mission (TPUM) serving as host. ADRA Vanuatu also provided financial support.
Participants—nearly half of whom were not Adventist—received their CHIP graduation certificates at a ceremony at Portoroki church on May 14.
During the ceremony, former Vanuatu Government Health director Russel Tamata said he had “never seen any program to be very effective as compared to CHIP”.
“This is an answer to the cries of so many [lifestyle disease] victims, and I am praying to see this roll out nationwide,” he said.
CHIP programs began running in the TPUM two years ago as part of the Health Promoting Churches initiative—a comprehensive strategy by the South Pacific Division’s Health Ministries department to combat the epidemic of lifestyle disease in the region.
Mrs Boehm returned to Port Vila to conduct a CHIP facilitators training program, with 13 people receiving the skills to host future CHIP programs.