August 5-12, 2015 – Our six-person eye surgery team is underway now and scheduled to perform more than 120 cataract surgeries August 5-12, 2015 at Ronton Hospital on Kiritimati (Christmas Island) in Kiribati for islanders from three area islands, Tabuaeran, Teraina and Kiritimati …brought to the hospital by government supply ship and now anxiously awaiting our arrival. Many of the island patients have severe cataracts in both eyes, and are blind. Many will soon be able to see their grandchildren for the first time.
In October – Our Women’s Health Team, led by Dr. Theresa Woehrle of Southern California, together with OB/GYN Dr. Judy Chen from Los Angeles County Hospital/University of Southern California, will examine and treat Christmas Island women with cervical pre-cancer and will continue their education of local medical personnel so that new patients may be treated after the team leaves. Last year, Pacific Islands Medical Aid, Inc., sent its first Women’s Health Team to this isolated island to treat pre-cancer patients and for teaching. We donated cryotherapy equipment and supplies to medical personnel there. The cryotherapy process kills pre cancer cells by freezing, helping prevent the future growth of full blown cervical cancer.
In late October – Members of Shriners Hospital for Children in Honolulu will make a second visit to Christmas Island to evaluate orthopedic needs of children there. In an agreement with Pacific Islands Medical Aid, Inc. and the Kiribati Ministry of Health, Shriners in Honolulu takes care of all childrens’ orthopedic surgery needs, we at PIMA provide housing, meals and transportation in Honolulu for patients and their caregivers, and the Kiribati Ministry of Health provides air fare. There are currently eight children on the Shriners’ list awaiting surgery in Honolulu. Please help us with the cost of this program.
In November – Noted cardiothoracic surgeon Dr. David O. Moore from Baylor Heart Hospital in Plano, Texas, will travel with his team to Christmas Island in November to examine heart patients there in anticipation of bringing the most severe cases back to the U.S. for heart surgery. In the past, a large number of young adults there have been found to have heart disease, likely the result of undiagnosed and untreated rheumatic fever. The lives of more than 15 islanders have been saved by virtue of successful open-heart surgery at Baylor and Dr. Moore and his team continues this wonderful program. We need donations to help with the cost of patients’ transportation and housing and meals while in the U.S.
In addition – We have been asked by the Kiribati Ministry of Health for help in the islands with an urology team, pediatrics, a pulmonary specialist to address serious problems with COPD, asthma and other breathing issues and diabetes, where more than 30 percent of all adults suffer with adult onset diabetes.