Ministry of Health

Samoa’s MOH apologises after infant injected with empty syringe

Director General of Health Aiono Dr Alec Ekeroma told the Samoa Observer newspaper the nurse had been "distracted" when the incident happened.

The baby's mother made a complaint and added her baby's leg was swollen and the baby wasn't eating after the injection.

But she said she appreciated the prompt action by the Health Director-General to respond to her queries and check on her baby.

Aiono said the nurse responsible was reminded to prioritise tasks and duties, focus on immediate tasks, double-checks vaccines before administration, and take recommended breaks.

Samoa outsources ultrasounds service

The ministry said the Medical Imaging & Radiology Department at TTM Hospital has only one senior technician and a trainee in employment.

Another senior staff member is currently away on further studies in Fiji, whilst others who have been trained in this field have resigned, and/or moved to private practice.


Samoa Health Minister refutes nurses unpaid overtime claims

Papāli’i made the claim in a report broadcast on TV 1 Samoa local news Wednesday night.

The Minister in an exclusive interview with the Savali refuted the claim pointing out that the Ministry of Health’s Human Resources Division have assured him that all the nurses overtime have been paid.

“I find it amusing because the nursing fraternity including Papāli’i have never informed officials and myself,” said Tafito. “Shocked is an understatement to say the least.”

Samoa's health chief downplays possibility of measles outbreak

In the last three weeks, several children suspected to have measles have been under observation.

But Aiono Dr Alec Ekeroma said all blood tests that have returned from New Zealand have come back negative.

The health ministry is awaiting on the remainder of those results but Dr Ekeroma expects the lastest cases will also prove to be negative on the basis that more children would have presented to the emergency department with symptoms.

Aiono said the 2019 outbreak that killed 83 people was off the back of an outbreak in Auckland.

Samoa Health Ministry faces medicine shortages

“There will always be some shortages as also seen in New Zealand,” says Health Director Aiono Dr. Alec Ekeroma.

He revealed that the reasons can be, “shortages of raw materials, getting it here on time, and speed of payments.”

When asked about what has been done to address this issue, Aiono said, “many meetings discussing many options and more planned.”

Furthermore, the Director General explained that shipments are received every week and essential drugs are already stocked.

“Still waiting on some drugs that are needed for specific cases.”

Samoa records 5 new Covd-19 cases

The Ministry of Health said the cases were recorded in the past seven days.

MOH also recorded a total of 288 cases that were unreported from the lab in March 2022.

There were a cumulative total of 192 positive cases detected at the Port of Entry since November 2022.

The ministry also recorded a cumulative total of 16,402 positive Covid-19 cases since the first community transmission was detected in 17 March, 2022.


Samoan minister asks how hospital became animal farm

The Samoa Observer reported that Minister of Health Valasi Tafito Selesele addressed the issue in parliament, in response to a request from Vaa-o-Fonoti MP Mau'u Siaosi Puepuemai for a new hospital at Fagaloa.

Valasi said during an inspection of the facility he was surprised at what he found.

"When I was on my inspections around government hospitals, I have seen that the facility was filled with grass, and looks like an animal farmhouse because there were cows there," he told parliament.

Samoa discusses dialysis treatment options

The ministry said some of these options include a dialysis mobile unit as well as distributing dialysis machines to each of the country's district hospitals.

Health Minister, Valasi Tafito Selesele said Ministry is currently awaiting a response from a Cabinet Special Committee to their request for 30 more dialysis machines for the health sector.

The request was made by the Ministry prior to a recommendation from the Opposition Member of Parliament for Aleipata Itupa‑i‑Luga, Fuaava Suluimalo Amataga during the sitting of the House.

Samoa records drop in positive Covid-19 cases

The Ministry of Health has confirmed that this is a drop from the nine cases recorded in the previous weekly situational report.

MOH said, “The results came from both PCR and rapid antigen test - RAT from all sites with the cumulative number of Covid-19 positive cases (border and community cases) climbing to 16,008.”

“From 2pm 18 December 2022 to 2pm 25 December 2022, the Ministry recorded nine positive cases from all sites as well.”

A total of 15,816 Covid-19 positive cases were detected in the last year since the first community transmission was reported.

New scanner hindered by lack of expertise

Talamua Online reports there are only two qualified radiologists but one of them, Dr Glen Fatupaito, is acting Director General of Health.

The new scanner will relieve the need to send patients to New Zealand and American Samoa at great expense.

Dr Fatupaito said there's been a dramatic increase in the number of patients needing CT scans a year.