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About 770 babies to be born on New Year’s Day in the Pacific Island countries, says UNICEF

baby unicefUNICEF challenges nations around the world to make sure more newborns survive their first days of life


1 January 2018

SUVA, Fiji- About 770 babies will be born in the Pacific Islands on New Year’s Day, UNICEF said today. Worldwide, it is estimated 385,793 babies will be born globally on New Year’s Day.

Kiribati’s Christmas Island, a small island in the Pacific, will most likely welcome 2018’s first baby; the United States, its last. Globally, over half of these births are estimated to take place in nine countries:

  • India — 69,070
  • China — 44,760
  • Nigeria — 20,210
  • Pakistan — 14,910
  • Indonesia — 13,370
  • The United States of America — 11,280
  • The Democratic Republic of Congo — 9,400
  • Ethiopia — 9,020
  • Bangladesh — 8,370

In the Pacific, estimated births on New Year’s Day include:

  • Fiji -47
  • Federated States of Micronesia – 7
  • Kiribati - 9
  • Papua New Guinea – 620
  • Samoa – 13
  • Solomon Islands – 47
  • Tonga – 7
  • Vanuatu - 19

While many babies will survive, some will not make it past their first day. In 2016, an estimated 2,600 children died within the first 24 hours every day of the year. For almost 2 million newborns, their first week was also their last. In all, 2.6 million children died before the end of their first month. Among those children, more than 80 per cent of all newborn deaths are due to preventable and treatable causes such as premature birth, complications during delivery, and infections like sepsis and pneumonia.

“This New Year, UNICEF’s resolution is to help give every child more than an hour, more than a day, more than a month - more than survival,” UNICEF Pacific Representative, Sheldon Yett. “We call on governments and partners to join the fight to save millions of children’s lives by providing proven, low-cost solutions.”

Over the past two decades, the world has seen unprecedented progress in child survival, halving the number of children worldwide who die before their fifth birthday to 5.6 million in 2016. But despite these advances, there has been slower progress for newborns. Babies dying in the first month account for 46 per cent of all deaths among children under five.

Next month, UNICEF will launch Every Child Alive, a global campaign to demand and deliver affordable, quality health care solutions for every mother and newborn. These include a steady supply of clean water and electricity at health facilities, the presence of a skilled health attendant during birth, disinfecting the umbilical cord, breastfeeding within the first hour after birth, and skin-to-skin contact between the mother and child.

“We are now entering the era when all the world’s newborns should have the opportunity to see the 22nd Century,” Mr. Yett said. “Unfortunately, nearly half of the children born this year likely won’t. A child born in Australia in January 2018 is most likely to live to 2101, and in New Zealand to 2100, while a child from Kiribati would be unlikely to live beyond 2075.”

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One-week training course for Pohnpei obesity control was held in Fukuoka, Japan

One-week training course for Pohnpei obesity control was held in Fukuoka, Japan between 18th and 23rd December 2017 and the following 7 people from the Pohnpei State Departments of Health Services and Education participated in the course.
1. Mr. Hinden Jaipol ALEXANDER
2. Mr. Francisco Koropin KERMAN
3. Ms. Delpihn ABRAHAM 4. Ms. Meryda INOS, Health Specialist
5. Mr. Lenson J TAULUNG, Teacher with Kolonia Primary School
6. Mr. Lynn Randol HARRY, Teacher with Ohmine Primary School 7. Mr. Jeremy DONRE, Teacher Saladak with Primary School
The training course is a part of the project titled INTRODUCTION OF WEIGHT CONTROL PROGRAM FOR OBESITY REVENTION IN POHNPEI, being conducted by Fukuoka Women’s University and the Pohnpei State Departments of Health Services and Education under JICA partnership program. The project is targeting 3 primary school areas (Kolonia, Ohmine and Saladak primary school areas), aiming to establish “Weight control for obesity prevention program" through its pilot programs.
Obesity is a major contributor to the global burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) today. The prevalence of obesity reported by WHO in 2015 doubled in the past decade, exceeding 10% of the world population (BMI ≥30 kg/m2 male: 10.7%; female: 15.2%). Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) marked much higher prevalence of obesity than the word prevalence (BMI ≥30 kg/m2 male: 31.0%; female: 43.7%). In order to modify the situation, the government and non-governmental organizations have worked together for past years; such as carrying out the national campaign called “Go Local”, however, the latest statistics have indicated more efforts required to lower the prevalence of obesity in the country.

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Interior provides $6.3m for water infrastructure in FSM

December 18, 2017
United States — U.S. Department of the Interior Assistant Secretary for Insular Areas Doug Domenech provided a $6.3 million Compact of Free Association grant to support the Federated States of Micronesia’s Sekere Water Project on the island of Pohnpei.
Funding for this project will assist the Pohnpei Utilities Corporation in expanding its island-wide water distribution system and connecting to water wells drilled by the United States Navy in 2007 under a Compact-funded humanitarian assistance project.
“Infrastructure projects such as the Sekere Water Project align with the goals of the Compact of Free Association to help increase the FSM’s self-reliance,” said Assistant Secretary Domenech. “I look forward to supporting the FSM as it continues to develop its infrastructure management program and begins to take full advantage of infrastructure assistance provided through the Compact.”
Now in phase two of this project, the overall scope involves the installation of 5 miles of 8-inch water pipeline, significantly increasing the delivery of potable water service to approximately 3,500 people in multiple communities on the island. The project will be implemented by Pohnpei State Government through its Project Management Office with construction undertaken by Adams Brothers Corporation, a Pohnpei-based construction firm. The project is expected to be completed in mid- 2019 and will extend the water distribution system from Sekere in Sokehs to the Lehn Diadi River in Kitti.

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2017 Joint Committee meeting in Chuuk State

December 2017
CHUUK, FSM — The 2017 Joint Committee Meeting (JCM) between the Federated States of Micronesia and the United States of America was hosted by the Secretary of Foreign Affairs Lorin S. Robert in Weno, Chuuk State on December 1, 2017. It was the first JCM held in Chuuk State and the first JCM to be attended by the current US Rear Admiral Shoshana Chatfield of Joint Region Marianas whose security and defense responsibilities cover the North Pacific of the Marianas Islands, Republic of Palau and the FSM. The JCM is an annual consultation between the FSM and the US under Title III of the Compact of Free Association.
Truk Stop Hotel conference room was the venue whereby Governor of Chuuk State Johnson Elimo opened the meeting by welcoming and thanking both the delegation members for selecting Chuuk as the venue of the JCM. He also expressed appreciation to the US delegation for the ongoing Construction Civic Action Detail (CCAD) projects in Chuuk State, Search and Rescue missions conducted in Chuuk, among others. Secretary Lorin S. Robert delivered a statement thanking the leadership of Chuuk State as the venue for the JCM, and conveying his appreciation of the Title III of the Compact with the US Government. As head of the U.S. delegation, Ambassador Robert Riley reciprocated by expressing his appreciation to the participating officials at the JCM from both sides as it relates to the Title III of the Compact, a commitment from the US government to provide security and defense to the FSM. Ambassador Riley also highlighted some of the recent and ongoing engagements between the US and the FSM such as CCAD program, Pacific Partnership 2018, and FSM citizens enlisted and serving in the US military, to name a few. Rear Admiral Chatfield also delivered a brief remark thanking both sides for her participation in the JCM and indicated that as a representative for Admiral Harry Harris of PACOM, she is duty-bound to defend her area of jurisdiction from all threats including those from North Korea. She also complimented those FSM citizens who have served and are serving in the US military.
The FSM represented to the 2017 JCM were Secretary of Foreign Affairs Lorin S. Robert, Governor Johnson Elimo of Chuuk State, Lt. Governor Carson Sigrah of Kosrae State, Consul General Robert Ruecho of FSM Consulate Office in Guam, Acting Attorney General Abigail Avoryie, Chief of Staff Leo Falcam Jr. and other officials from the National and States governments.
Representing the US government were Ambassador Robert A. Riley III, Rear Admiral Shoshana Chatfield, Deputy Chief of Mission Joanne Cummings and other officials from the Department of Defense, Department of State, Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Embassy in the FSM.

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Thirtieth anniversary of the Montreal Protocol: President Christian calls for unity, commitment, and strong political will

December 2017
PALIKIR, FSM — His Excellency Peter M. Christian, President of the FSM, returned this week from delivering a keynote address at the 30th Anniversary meeting of the Montreal Protocol held last week in Montreal, Canada. The international treaty was forged in 1997 to address the global crisis of ozone depletion caused by the release of gases into the atmosphere used in various industrial sectors ranging from air-conditioning and refrigeration to aerosol and pharmaceutical production.
In his address to the 197 countries represented in the hall, President Christian stated: “This environmental treaty proves to the world, that when faced with complex challenges, where products and materials used for economic activities threaten human and environmental health and well-being our global community is smart enough, committed enough, and capable enough to pair knowledge with political will to find solutions; That we are still sanely human, and still care for each other.”
In 2009, FSM proposed an amendment to this historic treaty to include a powerful greenhouse gas called hydrofluorocarbon (HFC), which is also used in the refrigeration and air conditioning industries, in the scope of its work. Initially the proposal met with much resistance, in part because the Montreal Protocol (MP) was originally intended to address only ozone depleting gases. Nonetheless, the FSM did not relent. In the lead-up to the 2015 Sustainable Development Summit, FSM secured a commitment from countries in the Pacific Islands Development Forum to support the proposal. Also in 2015, FSM added a focus on energy efficiency to the Island States HFC amendment proposal under the MP and began an advocacy campaign to secure major energy efficiency gains in refrigeration and air conditioning equipment concomitant with any agreed HFC phase down. In 2016, prior to the adoption of the amendment, FSM hosted the Pacific Islands Forum and secured a commitment from all countries in attendance to amend the MP to phase down HFCs. All action, which were instrumental in building consensus and providing the political will, led to the success in Kigali. It took eight years until at the annual Meeting of the Parties in 2016 in Kigali, Rwanda all countries agreed to include HFCs under the Protocol’s work in what is now known as the “Kigali Amendment”.

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College celebrates 66th Commencement Exercises


December 18, 2017
PALIKIR, FSM — The College's 66th C o m m e n c e m e n t Exercises was celebrated on Friday December 15, 2017, at 9:00 A.M. in the Main Gym of the FSM China Friendship Sports Center.
Over 500 attendees from the community and dignitaries were present to see the marching of the graduates.
College President Joseph M. Daisy Ed. D. gave welcoming remarks, while FSM Postmaster General, Ms. Ginger P. Mida was this year's commencement speaker.
The Conferring of Degrees was presented by Board of Regent Chairman, Dr. Tulensru Waguk of Kosrae.
Among the 179 graduates from National and Pohnpei campuses, nine graduated with a Bachelors of Arts in Elementary Education and four graduated with a Masters Degree in Education from the University of Guam. A total of 209 students graduated from all six campuses of the college.
Anjannet Fredrick presented the valedictorian address, while Reileen B. Joel was Salutatorian.

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New Pohnpei dive operation could attract more dive tourists to Pohnpei’s beautiful dive sites

dive operation

By Bill Jaynes
The Kaselehlie Press
December 22, 2017
Pohnpei—A new scuba diving services business in Pohnpei is poised to have an impact in Pohnpei well beyond the personal impact on the new proud owners. Laidenki Diving and Tours is in the final stages of the approval process to operate as an official PADI dive business. When that happens, and owners John Ranahan and Anter Joseph along with two of their grandchildren say that it is imminent, Pohnpei will be listed in PADI’s international data base as having a dive operation that functions according to PADI’s strict requirements. It could mean the possibility of divers coming to Pohnpei who might not otherwise have thought about it.
And Pohnpei has excellent dive spots. Internationally known dive tour operator, photographer, and author, Tim Rock of Guam said during a conversation several months ago about his book “The 50 Best Dives in Micronesia” (which can be purchased on Google Books and elsewhere) that Pohnpei is one of his favorite places to dive. He said that he dives here whenever he can. The conversation with Mr. Rock was not at all associated with the Laindenki Divers business which at time was only a vague idea in the owners’ minds but did speak volumes about what Pohnpei has to offer to divers.

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