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Our Distant Relatives

2003 (11:00 mins) Island Topics #35 Economics Health

This short documentary about the US-related islands of the Pacific discusses health conditions and social setting in American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas, the Federated States of Micronesia, Palau and the Republic of the Marshall Islands.  While the developed world urges prevention as the new battle line in the campaign against illness, many of these islands are still in retreat and retrenchment.  Large distances and isolated areas are major obstacles in serving the needs of these varied peoples. Poor sanitation, inadequate facilities, few trained doctors, and lack of education contribute to the growing problem of health care.  Many communities spend so much sending patients on referrals to more developed islands that there is little left for local medical facilities.  These distant relatives of the US are fighting the war against disease with inadequate weapons.

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