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By Agnes M. Abrau

KOROR, Palau (Palau Horizon, Sept. 27) – The Palau Ministry of Health immediately offered help to the Republic of Marshall Islands, when its only hospital was damaged by fire on Sept. 16.

Health Minister Victor Yano, Dr. Robert Maddison, Dr. Gregory Dever and Belau National Hospital Medical supply supervisor Bob Rengchol oversaw the loading of various medical supplies worth approximately US$5,000 to US$10,000 into a truck.

Yano said Continental Airlines has agreed to carry the 1,500 pounds of cargo free of charge as part of their assistance to Majuro.

Continental Airlines manager Marino Ngemaes was also at Belau National Hospital to check the supplies that will be brought to the Marshalls.

Early this week, a state of national emergency was declared at the Marshall Islands following a fire at its only hospital.

According to reports, the fire broke out in the hospital wing, which housed the medical supplies on the afternoon of Sept. 16. No injuries were reported.

Marshall Islands government authorities said the replenishment of the supply of medicine and pharmaceuticals and the normalization of regular hospital services are now the priorities.

The fire destroyed the hospital kitchen, laundry facilities and the storage room containing medicines and other medical supplies.

Marshall Islands President Kessai Note immediately returned from the U.S., where he was attending the United Nations summit, due to the emergency.

September 27, 2005

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