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MAJURO, Marshall Islands (January 26, 2001 – Marshall Islands Journal)---Educators and health officials agree: the Marshall Islands needs more Marshallese nurses and trained medical workers.

January’s capping ceremony at the College of the Marshall Islands only served to emphasize the severity of the problem: seven nurses are on their way to graduating at CMI, and not one is from the Marshall Islands.

In a move to change the trend, the Ministries of Health and Education and the College of the Marshall Islands earlier this month signed a memorandum of understanding to cooperate in developing and promoting greater Marshallese access to education and training programs in the health field.

Ministers Wilfred Kendal and Tadashi Lometo signed for Education and Health, respectively, Ray Boucher signed for CMI, Ben Jorkan signed for Marshall Islands High School, and Buima Samson signed for the School-to-Work (STW) program.

STW director Ken Antok said the goal is to greatly increase opportunities for Marshallese students through focused activities such as the Health Care Academy Program, which is being operated by Marshall Islands High School.

Under the MOU:

· MIHS will run a Health Academy program during this school year.

· Majuro Hospital’s nursing department will provide training for 10 or more high school graduates interested in nursing careers, and will provide a nurse to coordinate and instruct the project.

· CMI’s nursing education program will provide special health-related English and math courses, and supervise practical activities at Majuro Hospital and Public Health in support of the STW project. It will also involve 10 or more students in outer island health care visits.

· The STW program will provide financial and other support for CMI and the Ministry of Health to carry out the program.

The Marshall Islands Journal, Box 14, Majuro, Marshall Islands 96960 E-mail: [email protected]  Subscriptions (weekly): 1 year US $87.00; international $213.00 (air mail).

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