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Medical and Public Health Surge Responders for the Republic of the Marshall Islands Ministry of Health and Human Services

Background: The Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) is one of the world’s smallest, most isolated and vulnerable nations. The country consists of 29 atolls and 5 isolated islands (24 of which are inhabited), and has a total land mass of just 181 km2set in an area of over 1.9 million km2 in the northern, central Pacific Ocean. The population of the RMI is estimated at 53,066, of which the two largest urban centers, Majuro (the nation’s capital) and Ebeye, have populations of 28,000 and 9,614, respectively.

Early in the pandemic the RMI, along with several other Pacific Island countries and territories, closed its borders and severely restricted all commercial and non-commercial sea and air trade to the RMI. Given the RMI’s existing health system challenges and limited resources, this has and continues to give the RMI needed time to mobilize resources and prepare accordingly in the event the RMI government decides to fully, or partially, re-open its borders. As a result of the immediate effect of its border closure, many RMI citizens and residents were left stranded in various locations outside of the RMI, unable to return. Nearly eight months on since the RMI closed its borders in early March 2020, the RMI government is now planning to lift some of its border and travel restrictions to repatriate some of its stranded citizens and residents, as well as to bring in essential workers. This process will include strict pre-departure and on-site testing and quarantine measures. 

Since allowing very limited entry for essential workers and repatriated citizens, RMI has confirmed only 2 positive cases to date, both US military personnel identified during arrival quarantine. There is currently no evidence of transmission outside of the quarantine site on the US military base on Kwajelein, nor any evidence of community transmission, at this time.

COVID-19 Surge Responder Vacancies: In line with its National COVID-19 Emergency Response Plan, and in recognition of its limited resources to staff an effective response to COVID-19, the RMI MOHHS has requested assistance from the Pacific Island Health Officers’ Association (PIHOA) to recruit qualified and experienced medical and public health personnel to support its on-going COVID-19 preparedness and response efforts. Successful candidates will be hired under contract with PIHOA, a US non-profit 501(c)3, operating out of Honolulu, Hawaii.

Temporary medical and public health surge responders are to be recruited and deployed to two of the RMI’s main health service delivery centers in Delap on Majuro Atoll and Ebeye on Kwajelein Atoll. Unless otherwise stated, position deployments will be for a minimum of twelve calendar months from time of hire, with possible extension for another twelve months, if circumstances deem this to be necessary. Applicable positions will be subject to RMI MOHHS’ medical practice and licensure requirements prior to employment. All positions will also be subject to the RMI’s immigration rules and regulations depending on country of origin, including adherence to the RMI’s COVID-19 pre-departure and on-site COVID-19 testing and quarantine requirements. 

All travels and related expenses using the most direct and economical routes (coach class only) between home base and the RMI will be arranged and covered by PIHOA at commencement and completion of contracted period, including limitedrelocation expenses for accompanied excess and overweight baggage only and required transits. Eligible travel expenses will be in adherence to PIHOA’s Travel Policy and approved budgets.

Compensation will be provided on a monthly basis commensurate with qualifications and experience, and pending approval of satisfactory work performed by assigned, on-site RMI MOHHS supervisor. In addition, housing allowance and eligiblecommunication expenses, up to a designated ceiling, will be provided in addition to the monthly compensation. The RMI MOHHS will coordinate and assist with required COVID-19 pre- departure and on-site testing and quarantine requirements, and identifying local accommodation options. A limited set of office equipment and supplies will be provided by PIHOA atcommencement of the contract, while office space will be provided by the RMI MOHHS. Aside from the benefits indicated above, no other benefits will be provided by PIHOA. All other benefits, including applicable home base and local taxobligations will be out-of-pocket and at the discretion of the contractor.


For initial enquiries, please direct these to Emi Chutaro ( and Janet Camacho (

Application Deadline – Open Recruitment

For interested applicants, please submit the following to Emi Chutaro and Regie Tolentino (

  1. Letter of Interest that outlines your overall qualifications and professional experience pertinent to the position with respect to COVID-19, or other infectious disease, emergency response work. When possible, letter should also outline demonstrated experience working in health emergency response situations in limited-resource settings;
  2. Curriculum Vitae or Resume; and
  3. Minimum of three (3) work references from most current work supervisors within the last 8 years of work.