29 Sep 2005

Slow recovery at Marshall Island Hospital

2:53 pm on 29 September 2005

It will take about three months before operations at Majuro Hospital in the Marshall Islands get back to normal following a fire that destroyed close to $1 million in drugs.

The fire destroyed the hospital's medical supply warehouse two weeks ago.

There is still no known cause of the fire, though officials indicated it could have been inadvertently started by people smoking by a public bathroom that was attached to the facility.

The major loss of drugs has been complicated by the fact that there has been an outbreak of "flu-like" symptoms in Majuro over the past two weeks which is taxing the limited drug supply.

The hospital re-opened its outpatient clinic earlier than intended last week to accommodate the patients seeking treatment.

The hospital is expecting some of its major orders of drugs and supplies to arrive by air later this week.

The United States and New Zealand governments, as well as hospitals in neighboring islands, have been donating medical supplies to help the hospital recover.