In 2017, SEE partnered with Canvasback Missions to provide sight-restoring surgeries to 191 patients at Majuro Hospital in the Marshall Islands.
SEE provided support in the form of advanced surgical equipment and supplies to ensure that patients were able to receive high-quality care that they otherwise might not have access to.
The Marshall Islands is an archipelago country in the Pacific Ocean. There are 24 inhabited islands, yet there are only two hospitals in the entire country – one in Ebeye and one in Majuro. This creates a lot of challenges for Marshallese living on less populated islands who cannot easily access medical care for serious conditions. The World Health Organization reported that one of the greatest barriers to strengthening their health care system is the lack or unreliability of transportation to the outer islands, making outreach teams who visit the outer islands the main source of delivering primary healthcare services. As a result, citizens living in the remote parts of the country have little to no access to care year-round. Quality of healthcare is also difficult to access in general as many areas face a shortage of supplies, equipment, and medical staff.
A major health issue in the country is its highest prevalence of diabetes. Over one-fifth of the population is diabetic, which results in a large number of diabetic retinopathy cases. With only one ophthalmologist residing in the entire country and no national eye care plan, many will never receive the treatment they need. Patients with the resources to seek treatment do so abroad in Hawaii or the Philippines. Therefore, those who cannot afford to seek medical care elsewhere rely on visiting teams from organizations like SEE International.