Segments in this Video

Marshall Islands TB Epidemic (04:02)


Tuberculosis rates have skyrocketed, partly due to Ebeye's dense population. Public health outreach workers Rhina James and Molly May bring medicine to residents. The disease is associated with poverty, compromised immunity, and malnutrition; it effects nine million people globally.

Treating TB (01:52)

Successful recovery depends on a daily medicine regimen for six months; the disease can become drug resistant if not completed.

Kwajalein vs. Ebeye (04:14)

The Marshallese were once ocean navigators and followed an indigenous diet. A military base hosts 1,700 American defense contractors and employs 11,000 Marshallese, who live on a neighboring island in impoverished conditions. Compare public health statistics between the two populations.

Ebeye Health Issues (02:11)

Dr. Neal Palafox says the impoverished island residents suffer both infectious and chronic diseases. Insufficient infrastructure causes power outages and water shortages during which residents pay for water taxis to do laundry on Kwajalein.

Living Near a Nuclear Testing Site (02:48)

Between 1946 and 1958, 67 bombs were detonated off the Marshall Islands. Radioactive fallout drifted onto two inhabited atolls in 1954. Dise Langrus' father was among those treated for radiation burns and tracked to study the effects.

Displacement (02:27)

Prior to nuclear testing, the U.S. military moved thousands of Marshallese people to different islands—negatively impacting their culture and health. Almost one fifth of the nation lives on Ebeye, beyond its environmental capacity. Senator Abacca Anjain-Maddison discusses sanitation issues.

Losing Autonomy (01:54)

The lure of jobs on the U.S. military base on Kwajalein has resulted in Ebeye slums. Poverty makes individuals feel powerless and unable to control their destiny.

Public Health Policies and Infectious Disease (02:34)

Eradicating TB in Ebeye will require addressing poverty, overcrowding and malnutrition. Between 1900 and 1940, TB death rates dropped in U.S. cities with hygiene improvements and social reforms. Marshallese patients are ashamed of their condition.

Immigration to the U.S. (03:44)

About 10,000 Marshallese live and work in Springdale, Arkansas. They are more susceptible to infectious disease, possibly due to chronic stress. Public health workers ensure workers remain on TB treatment schedules. Policy can address the diseases of poverty.

Credits: Collateral Damage (03:12)

Credits: Collateral Damage

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Collateral Damage

Part of the Series : Unnatural Causes: Is Inequality Making Us Sick?
3-Year Streaming Price: $69.95



Patterns of uneven development mark the Pacific islands, and diabetes, cardiovascular and kidney diseases, and even tuberculosis are taking a growing toll on Pacific Islander populations. In the Marshall Islands and in the unlikely spot of Springdale, Arkansas, we witness how U.S. occupation, military policy, and globalization impact people's health—often in unanticipated ways.

Length: 31 minutes

Item#: BVL165942

Copyright date: ©2008

Closed Captioned

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