Situation in Brief

A small country with a population of approximately 50,000 people, the Marshall Islands has one ophthalmologist (a Filipino) based at the main hospital in the capital, Majuro. There is no national eye health plan and no coordinated national program. The ophthalmologist provides a range of ophthalmic services and has a heavy workload. With an extremely high prevalence of diabetes, retinopathies are common among presenting patients. Two private optometrists provide spectacle and refraction services in country. Visiting teams from Taiwan and Israel have undertaken some procedures, while some procedures are referred to Hawaii or the Philippines. Support from the US government contributes to the country’s economy. IAPB visited Majuro in October 2012.

Country Statistics

Indicator Value
Population: 53,000
Human development index value: N/A
National Prevention of Blindness Committee active: No
National Eye Health Plan Developed: No
Cataract surgical rate: N/A
Number of ophthalmologists: 1
Blindness prevalence: N/A
Main causes of blindness: Diabetic retinopathy, cataract
Total expenditure on health as percentage of total government expenditure: 22.9
Diabetes prevalence: 34.9%
Improved drinking water coverage: 95%
Improved sanitation coverage: 76%
Endemic areas for trachoma: Unknown