CHCC to educate NMI athletes on health threats


The Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. is making sure that all members of the CNMI delegation are vaccinated before leaving for the Micronesian Games in Yap in early July.

Yap’s Department of Health Services recently released a mumps alert travel advisory a few months before they host the ninth edition of the quadrennial Micro Games from July 15 to 27.

CHCC public information officer Samantha Birmingham-Babauta told Saipan Tribune that they are working to ensure that delegation members will receive all vital information less than two months before the opening of the Micro Games.

“[This is] with emphasis on ensuring vaccinations such as MMR—which protects against measles, mumps, and rubella. Details are still in the works. [CHCC] will release a statement once finalized and confirmed between our agencies and the Micro Games delegation,” said Birmingham-Babauta.

She added that they are encouraging all athletes and officials to get vaccinated before leaving. “Micro Games participants will be encouraged during the health education and travel guidance event to visit their private provider or our Immunization Program to make sure their shots are up to date or get vaccinated as need,” she said.

She also clarified the CNMI does not test off-island visitors upon arrival. “Such testing upon arrival is not a practice here or any other jurisdiction.”

Yap athletes are due to arrive on Saipan next month as part of the delegation from the Federated States of Micronesia for the 2018 Oceania Micronesian Athletics Championships.

Yap’s DHS reported confirmed cases of the mumps virus in Yap, including the outer islands of Falalop and Woleai. Chuuk State, also in the FSM, along with Hawaii, New Zealand, and Vanuatu also has similar mumps cases.

Yap’s DPH has advised those who are going to attend the Micro Games and would be visiting the islands to make sure they are immunized to protect them from the virus.


Jon Perez | Reporter
Jon Perez began his writing career as a sports reporter in the Philippines where he has covered local and international events. He became a news writer when he joined media network ABS-CBN. He joined the weekly DAWN, University of the East’s student newspaper, while in college.

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