4 Dec 2003

US stops Marshalls health programme

4:48 pm on 4 December 2003

A US-funded health programme in the Marshall Islands is to close at the end of the month.

The programme, known as the 177 Health Plan, was given two million US dollars a year from a US grant.

It provides health care services to up to 16,000 islanders from the atolls of Bikini, Enewetak, Rongelap and Utrik which were used by the US to test 67 of its nuclear weapons.

A Rongelap Senator, Abacca Anjain-Maddison, has expressed concern at the closure, saying local leaders will meet later this month to discuss ways to maintain the program.

The senator says efforts are ongoing for the Marshall Islands to lobby the US Congress to extend additional funding to continue the four-atoll health program.