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National Health Issues

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A blood drive held at the University of the South Pacific and organized by the Muslim community. Photo: Karen Earnshaw

A blood drive held at the University of the South Pacific and organized by the Muslim community. Photo: Karen Earnshaw

Population: 53,158 (2011 census)
Life Expectancy: 72.03 years (2012 data)
Life Expectancy male: 69.92 years (2012 data)
Life Expectancy female: 74.25 years (2012 data)
Infant Mortality (per 1000 live births): 22.93 (2011 data)
Total Births 2002: 1,355 (of these, 239 were to teenagers

Blood: There is no blood bank at Majuro Hospital so when people are in need the coconut telegraph works to bring family members or friends to the hospital to donate. Obviously, it is helpful if you know your blood type (both as a patient and donor). Pictured is an irregular collection of blood organized by the small Muslim community, held in a classroom at the University of the Pacific and staffed by Ministry of Health employees.

Diabetes: This is a huge problem in the country, with fully half of Marshallese adults over 35 being diabetic and nearly 30 percent of youth.

Tuberculosis: As of April, 2013, the Marshall Islands had the ninth highest TB rate globally and the highest in the Pacific, with a rate of 536 cases per 100,000 people.

Suicide: The incidence of attempted suicides and completed suicides is still sadly prevelant, however in recent years more counselors have been trained with counseling services now available through a number of programs, including Youth to Youth in Health (625-3098), located in Uliga.

Leprosy: Despite an active screening and treatment program for leprosy by the division of Public Health, patient compliance (in taking the medicine) is a problem. In 2014, the number of leprosy cases continued to grow.

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