A large donation of hospital-related equipment was received by the Ministry of Health and Human Services Friday courtesy of the Japan government.
Japan Ambassador Hideyuki Mitsuoka was on hand to turn over medical equipment to the Marshall Islands. A large group from the Ministry was on hand to receive the donation, as was Foreign Secretary Bruce Kijiner.
Health Secretary Julia Alfred and the Japan ambassador spoke as part of the ceremony for the handover.
“Strengthening of health services is one of the major issues in Japan’s development cooperation with the RMI,” said Ambassador Mitsuoka.
Equipment provided for the Majuro and Ebeye hospitals through this special grant include:
• Three mobile X-ray units (two for Majuro, one for Ebeye)
• Two operating tables for orthopedic surgery (one each for Majuro and Ebeye)
• 93 Sphygmomanometers (blood pressure measuring instruments) (78 for Majuro, 15 for Ebeye)
• Six delivery tables (five for Majuro, one for Ebeye)
• 41 foldable wheelchairs (36 for Majuro, five for Ebeye)
• Six dental units for Majuro
• Four infant incubators (two each for the hospitals)
• Three 37-foot boats (two for Majuro, one for Ebeye).
The newly procured dental units have replaced old ones which were installed under the second phase of “the Project for the Improvement of the Majuro hospital” funded by Japan in 2006, and had been used for over 10 years. The embassy noted that it took time to properly install the new dental units. But ”with the help and cooperation of staff at Majuro hospital, those units are now all in good condition for much needed dental care.”
In addition to providing equipment donations, Japan also supports health service delivery by providing technical cooperation through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). There are currently two JICA volunteers placed at the Majuro hospital, a nurse and a physical therapist.
The equipment handed over to the Ministry of Health and Human Services Friday represents the last batch of items granted by the government of Japan under the “Non-Project Grant Aid for the Provision of Japanese Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) Products FY2013.”
Three desalination systems to improve water quality at Majuro hospital were installed in the parking lot of the hospital in 2017 as part of this grant.
During the handover ceremony, Ambassador Mitsuoka mentioned that the 8th Pacific Islands Leaders Meeting (PALM8) is coming up in Japan in May 2018. This year marks the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Japan and the RMI.
Read more about this in the March 9, 2018 edition of the Marshall Islands Journal.