19 Nov 2009

Marshall Islands acting chief planner says child mortality rates call for action

10:16 am on 19 November 2009

The Marshall Island's acting chief planner says the country needs to adopt a more aggressive public health campaign to improve child mortality rates in parts of the nation.

New data has found 78 out of 1000 children in the outer atolls, where the immunisation rate is believed to be under 50 percent according to earlier data, die annually from illnesses.

That's compared to 21.5 children out of 1,000 in the capital, where the immunisation rate is 67 percent, and 9 out of 1,000 children on Ebeye Island, where immunisation is at 98 percent.

International data suggests there's a likely link between the two factors.

The acting chief planner, Maybelline Bing, says the findings require a new course of action.

"We need to work more on our public health programme. We need to be more aggressive in reaching out to the public, not to really wait for the people to come to the hospital but to go out to the public and do mobile clinics to reach those that cannot come to our hospitals."

Maybelline Bing.