CNMI Hospital sends medicine, equipment to GMH & GRMC after Typhoon Mawar
The Rota Health Center is fully operational after Typhoon Mawar and its 40 staff continue their jobs as recovery is ongoing
CNMI Hospital CEO Dr. Esther Muna said, "Facilities wise we have a lot of mitigation issues that we have to take care of for the next typhoon that we will probably be experiencing."
Lessons were learned in this response with issues reaching back to 2018 after Typhoon Magkhut hit Rota, including fixing their health center’s only generator and trying to get a second one on the island from Saipan amid shipping issues due to weather.
Warren Villagomez, Hospital Facility Director, said, "The urgency is there and that is why the CEO is pushing all the efforts possible to mitigate this situation."
The NMI’s only hospital also shifting its effort to help the Guam Memorial Hospital and Guam Regional Medical City.
"We did ship some supplies. We shipped some albuterol nebules and we also are shipping some monitors, vital sign monitors, BP monitors, and pulse oximeters. Those are items that we have in stock to share already. Especially when doing an outreach post-typhoon, there is a need to check how the patients are or the people out there in shelters. So obviously we are willing to help when we can," Muna said.
She says the Saipan hospital is ready to send a team of health care professionals when Guam Governor Lou Leon Guerrero activates the Emergency Management Assistance Compact, which all 50 states and territories signed on to provide mutual aid.
"It is important to activate because it does ease the burden of any jurisdiction that is helping out. So when we talk about, for example, nurses. Who pays for those nurses when they are going? So the EMAC agreement is something that is there," she added.
The EMAC’s website says the compact allows jurisdictions “to share their resources with one another during emergencies, give and receive reimbursement for shared resources, and give and receive liability protection for their officers and employees rendering aid.”
Muna said, "In the meantime, we provide resources we can, outside the EMAC…we’ve had an agreement before especially with GMHA whenever there is a need…sometimes the shipping is an issue. We live in a geographical location where sometimes supplies do not come in on time so what you do is try to work together."
The Guam Governor’s Office said that the process to activate EMAC is underway. Krystal Paco-San Agustin told KUAM, “We want to ensure it goes through the EMAC process so CNMI may be properly reimbursed and…personnel are covered by the same protections offered to current GMH employees."