Transport to Outer Islands: Our PIMA eye team is preparing to fly to the next small, isolated island of Teraina the Central Pacific . There are no doctors on the outer islands. Patients found to be needing eye surgery will be sent by boat to Christmas Island for surgery at the small hospital there. Surgeries will be performed by our eye surgery team, led by Drs. Paul Jorizzo and Paul Imperia from Medford, Oregon.

PIMA Departs Kiribati as Nation Sides with Communist China

Dear friends of Pacific Islands Medical Aid;

As you may be aware, the Kiribati government has severed ties with the democratic nation of Taiwan and signed a pact with Communist China, in exchange for millions and millions of dollars in aid.

In doing so, the Kiribati government had to agree with the Communist government’s “one China policy,” maintaining that the nearly 24 million who live in freedom on Taiwan should be citizens of Communist China, where basic freedoms of speech, press, religion and assembly are denied.

The Communist government has said it will take over Taiwan by force, if necessary.

For fifteen years now, we at Pacific Islands Medical Aid have offered the free services of great American doctors, medical supplies and equipment to the nation of Kiribati. Volunteer physicians from other democratic nations in the region …Australia, New Zealand, Japan and Taiwan have for years also helped the Kiribati Ministry of Health.

The Taiwan government has given Kiribati millions in aid each year. Japan has made donations of infrastructure. Australia has helped train the nation’s nurses. New Zealand has offered medical grants and employment for Kiribati citizens.

We were first encouraged to offer our help to the good people of Kiribati by Member of Parliament Ieremia Tabai, the first freely-elected president of the Republic of Kiribati, a staunch defender of democratic values. One of PIMA’s current board members, Dr. David Langston, was raised in Ieremia’s home.

Of the switch from Taiwan to Communist China, Ieremia last week questioned the health of the democracy in Kiribati where he says even civil servants are afraid to speak out. He also criticized the state’s radio station for not airing opposite views despite multiple attempts to get airtime.

Our efforts in Kiribati are now over, but we look back with great satisfaction that we have been able to help thousands in that poor island nation.

Looking forward, we hope to be able to offer the same level of humanitarian aid to other island nations in the Pacific that support democracy like the Marshall Islands, Nauru, Tuvalu and Palau.

Carlton Smith, president
Pacific Islands Medical Aid, Inc.