American Samoa’s hospital CEO defends decision not to hire nurses from Samoa

In a letter obtained by Radio Polynesia, Moefaauo Bill Emmsley said that to address the Lyndon B. Johnson Hospital's shortage-of-nursing conundrum, several plans were hatched.

He said that included recruiting from those two countries and elsewhere as a stop-gap measure.

Moefaauo said last month that a review of the curriculum used at the NUS nursing programme is not up to par with US licensing standards for nurses and this would be a challenge to acquire US certification for nurses from Samoa.

Nurses on Savai'i test positive for Covid-19

Association President Solialofi Papali'i told TV1Samoa that 14 nurses working at the Sataua District Hospital tested positive for Covid-19 as did two nurses working at Safotu District Hospital and six nurses at the Malietoa Tanumafili II Hospital at Tuasivi.

Papali'i and the Nurses Association travelled to Savai'I to offer support for their members and to personally hand out special financial bonuses which are part of $32,000 allocated by the Association for their members to celebrate its 70th anniversary.

Samoa nurses bearing the brunt of Covid

Samoa Observer reported Solialofi Papali'I saying "there is no question that nurses have been part of the pandemic from the start, as they put their lives on the line to help protect the people of Samoa."

She added there have been cases reported from Savai'i but the majority of the infections are from Upolu.

Papali'i said testing booths for hospital staff should be set up at hospital gates so they can be tested before and after work.

Samoa Nurses Association praises members on the frontline

Five frontline nurses had been caring for the infected passengers from the Brisbane flight at MIQ when they all became infected.

Without hesitation they told authorities that they would continue to work and care for the infected patients.

Their selfless acts have not gone unnoticed and TV1Samoa reports the Samoa Nurses Association have praised the resolve of their members, who are now isolation patients themselves.

88 registered nurses graduate in Samoa

The graduates completed nursing and midwifery training.

The Ministry of Health’s Assistant C.E.O. for Nursing and Midwifery, Momoti Ulisese Tapuvae, said seven nurses graduated with a diploma while 70 graduated with a bachelor's degree. 

"And all of these nurses will be allocated to the areas with demand and also they will replace a number of nurses who have left the job because of other opportunities overseas and also with the theological college and other areas of nursing like the National University of Samoa and other private sectors.”

Lalomanu nurses gather strength to serve after measles epidemic

During the epidemic, the nurses went sent to work in hospitals in Savaii and Upolu.

Alofa Leota of of Magiagi was chosen to work at Lalomanu Hospital about 61 kilometres away from Apia.

Leota told Loop Samoa correspondent, Talaia Mika that she had to leave her only child with her parents and family when she was on duty.

“I know that for a lot of nurses, we’re being separated from our families especially our children but when it comes to our work, the lives of the people depend on us so we must do our job no matter what,” she said.

NZ to send medical staff and measles vaccines to Samoa

Foreign Minister Winston Peters said New Zealand is providing 3000 measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccines and 12 nurses to assist in containing a serious and growing measles outbreak.

“Measles is highly contagious, and the outbreak has taken lives in Samoa. It is in everybody’s interests that we work together to stop its spread,” Mr Peters said.

The first nurses, who will administer vaccinations, will arrive on Wednesday, with other nurses working on rotation over the coming weeks.

The vaccines are undergoing final clearance to arrive in Samoa next week.

Samoa improving vaccine safety after deaths - Nurses' Association

The two one-year-old babies died after receiving doses of the Measles Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccine which were incorrectly mixed with an expired anaesthetic.

The deaths prompted Samoa to suspend all vaccination for three months and damaged public trust in vaccines across the region, including in New Zealand.

On Friday, two nurses who administered the vaccine were jailed for five years. Lana Samuelu and Lameko Sui had pleaded guilty to negligence causing the manslaughter of the infants.

Samoa court to probe infant deaths

Yesterday, the Supreme Court sentenced two nurses to five years in jail after they pleaded guilty to negligence causing the manslaughter of the infants, Lana Samuelu and Lameko Sui.

When delivering the decision, the acting chief justice Vui Clarence Nelson said a medical report showed the vaccine had been incorrectly mixed with an expired anesthetic.

He added six months to the five-year sentence of Nurse Luse Tauvale, who also pleaded guilty to conspiring to defeat the cause of justice by concealing the syringes and the bottle which contained the anesthetic.

Jail not sought for Samoan nurses over baby deaths

Nurses Luse Emo Tauvale and Leutogi Te'o pleaded guilty to manslaughter last month and will be sentenced next Tuesday in Samoa's Supreme Court.

On Friday, prosecution and defence lawyers agreed to recommend to judges the nurses be banned from their profession for two-years and be required to undertake training.

Samoa's health ministry said the babies' deaths were caused by the nurses mixing the wrong liquid with the vaccine for Measles, Mumps and Rubella.