New 12 bed Hospital on Christmas Island

Dear Friends;

In what turned out to be a wonderful collaboration of efforts, the little hospital on Christmas Island in Kiribati now has a modern, up to date and sanitary facility for patients.

The new 12-bed facility began its life late last year when U.S. Navy Seabees built a great little 24 by 80 foot building adjacent to the old and decaying hospital building, with the layout and interior rooms designed by Pacific Islands Medical aid supporter Dr. Dimitri Demetriades, head of the trauma department at USC/Los Angeles County Hospital.

With Dr. Demetriades’ plans in hand, and input from Kiribati Dr. Teraira Bangoa, medical officer in charge on Christmas Island, and local surgeon Dr. John Tekanene, the Seabees put together a perfect little hospital building suited to its tropical environment, and ready for furnishing by PIMA.

Thanks to you and your many donations, we were able to purchase in Honolulu almost everything needed to get them up and running, including louvered windows, beds and mattresses, tables, desks, fans, carts, chairs, cribs, cabinets, general medical supplies, a communications system to tie them to other clinics on the island, a small computer with reliable internet service to help with telemedicine, lighting and more.

Then, in July and early August, we were able to transport everything needed on the once-a-month air cargo flight from Honolulu to Christmas Island, organized by former U.S. Aid director in the Pacific, Mr. Bill Paupe.

Over a two week period in August, we were able to transform the empty building into a working facility, thanks to our many local volunteers.

Louvered windows were installed, wooden bed frames painted three times, mattresses and other bedding put in place, cribs and other furnishings assembled, security lights, fans and computer installed, shower stall built, nurses station organized and general clean-up finished.

Dr. Teraira Bangoa says it is now ‘the best little hospital facility in the Central Pacific.’

Photos in the month’s newsletter show the transformation…. Thank You Everyone!