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Palau Health Foundation Officially Launched

Palau Health Foundation (PHF) was officially launched at a ceremony held at Ngarachamyong Cultural Center on Tuesday, July 1, 2016. The newly minted organization is a non-governmental organization; a non-profit, community based, owned and managed foundation to pursue sovereignty in health through disease prevention, health promotion and health protection.

Palau Health Foundation launching ceremony participants posed for a group photo. (Photo by Gafaar Uherbelau)

PHF is organized to provide a mechanisms and strategies for people and communities in Palau to posses the appropriate information and knowledge to make healthy decisions toward achieving wellness.

“Many issues that threaten the state of well being in Palau fall into the social determinants of health, which in the Palauan context are not limited to land ownership, cultural integrity, social and political justice, spiritual and educational freedom, migration, emigration and nomadization of peoples, adoption new ways, alteration of the status quo and ultimately adaptation,” said Dr. Stevenson Kuartei in his presentation at the launching.

“PHF is to move the ownership and management of health back to the community where communities and individuals can make informed health decisions for themselves and their families,” Dr. Kuartei said.

Membership drive was also conducted during the launching ceremony; however, a separate event dedicated to recruit new members will be organized later.

The initial incorporators of the foundation who come from diverse professional background and experiences are Dr. Stevenson Kuartei, MD, (President), Dr. Victor Yano, MD, (Vice President), Augusta Rengiil (Treasurer), J. Maireng Sengebau, MPHm (Secretary), Tobias Marbou, Gustave Aitaro, Peter Adelbai, Talobak Vic Uherbelau, and Ongerung Kambes Kesolei.

(Full disclosure: the author of this article is a board member of the Palau Health Foundation.)

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