Marshall Islands

Marshall Islands extends dengue health emergency

While cases of dengue fever on Ebeye Island have dropped to a daily trickle, Majuro continues to see high numbers, according to the latest report from the Ministry of Health and Human Services.

President Hilda Heine signed the second one-month extension of the declaration of health emergency, which will see it extend to early November.

Ebeye is where the dengue outbreak started, with the first case reported in late May.

Audit needed of Marshall Islands nuclear 'coffin' - Pacific Islands Forum

Campaigners have warned for years of the danger posed by the 18-inch think concrete dome, perched on a small island in Enewetak Atoll and used to store nuclear waste leftover from atomic testing conducted in the 1950s and 1960s.

"What is lacking is independent verification," Dame Meg Taylor said on Tuesday. "Which frightens people."

Marshall Islands sets up fund for national cryptocurrency

The country is developing the legal tender currency Sovereign (SOV) to serve alongside the US dollar there.

Last week, the government unveiled the SOV development fund, which will hold 30 percent of the currency's initial supply.

David Paul, the Minister-in-Assistance to the President, said the fund would be independent.

Questions over Chinese fishing vessel aground in Marshalls

The Ou Ya Leng No.6, with 24 crew, ran aground at uninhabited Taka Atoll in the northern Marshalls on Thursday.

The crew were rescued by the Marshall Islands Sea Patrol's Lomor patrol boat and a Chinese fishing vessel.

The Marshalls' Chief Secretary Ben Graham said a representative of the vessel's owner is expected in Majuro this Friday and the government expects to learn what they plan to do about the vessel.

Mass tuberculosis and leprosy screening in Marshalls

In 2013 the World Health Organisation reported the Marshalls had the second highest prevalence of TB in the world, 100 times higher than the US mainland.

It is also one of the few countries in the world still dealing with leprosy.

RNZ Pacific reports a new Ministry of Health screening programme which will run until September aims to cover the capital, Majuro, following a successful screening initiative on the island of Ebeye.

The biggest challenge once screening has been conducted will be getting people to complete their treatments.

Hawaii 'vog' blankets Marshall Islands

United States weather officials on Guam issued a special weather update on Sunday about the "haze plume" that is expected to continue moving westward through the Federated States of Micronesia.

Hawaii residents refer to the haze caused by volcanic eruptions on the Big Island as "vog," a phenomenon now being experienced in the Marshall Islands, more than 2,300 miles to the southwest of the Hawaiian Islands.

The volcano in Hawaii is now in its fourth week of continuous eruptions.

Files from four Pacific registries in Paradise Papers

The leak, dubbed the Paradise Papers, contains more than 13.4 million documents mostly from the offshore law firm Appleby.

The papers also contained details from the corporate registries of the Cook Islands, Marshall Islands, Samoa and Vanuatu as well as 15 other registries, mostly in the Caribbean.

The papers covered the period from 1950 to 2016.

The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists is investigating the files along with a network of journalists around the world.

Marshall Islands hearing programme praised

Following a recent visit to Ebeye and Majuro, Marcus Gaffney, the team leader from CDC's Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) section and Eric Cahill, a health scientist also with CDC, joined audiologist Ray Miner for the visit to both islands, where they engaged with EHDI Coordinator Chinilla Pedro and hospital staff providing the services for babies and children.

Marshalls still to decide on UN nuke ban treaty

Tim Wright, the Asia Pacific Director of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, said that the island countries that have said they would sign the treaty this week include Palau, Fiji, Samoa, Tuvalu, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu.

Marshall Islands President Hilda Heine said her government was still considering whether to sign the treaty.

Tributes continue to pour in for the late Tony de Brum

The country’s President Hilda Heine issued a statement in Majuro today lamenting the untimely passing away of a Pacific Islands ‘legend’ who fought for climate change & nuclear justice.

“He fought for our independence, he fought against the tyranny of nuclear weapons and for nuclear justice for our people and he led the international fight against climate change.

“The very existence of the Paris Agreement owes a lot to Tony de Brum. He was a giant in history, a legend in every meaning of the word and a custodian of our shared future, said President Heine.