The Labor and Delivery Ward at Majuro hospital is back to full operation after completion of a major renovation program. The ward held a ‘reopening’ ceremony Monday to mark the upgrade attended by Minister Bruce Bilimon, MOHHS management, along with pediatricians, hospital staff and partners.
The work was supported by the Early Childhood Development Project which is being led by the Ministry of Health and Human Services and funded by the World Bank.
The Early Childhood Development project team did an initial assessment with MOHHS to identify needs and priorities for repairs. This included interviews with nurses and patients on their needs and experiences in the ward.
“As we all know, the labor and child birth is not an easy process, especially for first time mothers,” said Dr. Ivy Lapidez. “Most of the time it is pain and pressure, so having this friendly and comfortable place for our mothers could help them psychologically as they undergo the labor and birthing process and also for the maternal and child relationship after childbirth.”
The improvements included construction of staff and patient bathrooms, repairs to the roof and gutter, ceiling repairs for both delivery rooms in the ward, replacing the old and damaged walls, repainting, and addressing water damage. The nurses’ station was refurbished, including the sanitation station and baby washing station which has been updated with new sinks and water heating systems. The renovation work was done by DSJ Construction.
The repairs, which were cited as urgent by the MOHHS, had been delayed due to a lack of funding.
“We feel proud to have such a newly renovated place ready to serve the needs of our mothers,” said Minister Bilimon.
The Early Childhood Development Project, which was approved in 2019, is supporting reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health and nutrition services, with a focus on the first 1,000 days of life. The project also aims to promote primary school readiness by enhancing support to parents and increasing access to early learning services.
“The Early Childhood Development Project would like to acknowledge the Ministry of Health and Human Service’s hard work, especially the staff, leadership, and partners who serve and provide for the people of the RMI,” said ECD national coordinator Rachel Bigler. “Without the government of RMI’s support, none of this would be possible.”
The project is funded through a $13 million grant from the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank’s fund for the most in-need countries, in partnership with the RMI government and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).