Top Diseases in MicronesiaThe Federated States of Micronesia includes over 600 tiny islands in the Pacific Ocean, divided into four main states: Chuuk, Pohnpei, Yap, and Kosrae. Due to its island nature, the Federated States of Micronesia’s health situation does not change as often as more central countries’ might.

The leading causes of death in the Federated States of Micronesia have historically been endocrine and nutrition-related diseases; metabolic diseases like diabetes mellitus; diseases of the respiratory system like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; and diseases of the circulatory system. Parasitic and infectious diseases in Micronesia are also a common cause of hospitalization.

The number of diseases in Micronesia preventable by vaccine has decreased in recent years, while waterborne and foodborne diseases, like typhoid, as cause for hospitalization have remained high. Dengue fever, hepatitis A, and Zika virus have all had random outbreaks in the Federated States of Micronesia over the years.

Zika is currently a very real risk in the Federated States of Micronesia, and pregnant women are advised not to travel there. Sexually transmitted infections are prevalent, along with leprosy, and a drug resistant tuberculosis. Chikungunya and Zika are both diseases carried by mosquitoes, making bug bite prevention a necessary step in staying healthy.

Each state in Micronesia has its own healthcare services, including a central hospital with at least the minimum primary and secondary level services available.

The development plan for the Federated States of Micronesia’s healthcare includes improving:

  • national environmental health
  • food and water sanitation
  • maternal and child health
  • controlling diabetes and cancer
  • controlling unhealthy substance abuse and tobacco use
  • mental health services
  • treating tuberculosis and other infectious endemic diseases
  • hospital preparedness.

The Federated States of Micronesia is a tiny nation in the middle of a vast ocean, with a population of 104,196 as of 2017. It faces risk from diseases that many other countries do, though there is less risk of said diseases spreading to other countries.

Ellen Ray

Photo: Flickr