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It’s personal for us


15 December 2019


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Dr Loana Tanielu meet with Rt Hon Vaovasamanaia Winston Peters.

Dr Loana Tanielu, SouthSeas Healthcare Board Member recently met with New Zealand’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Rt. Hon Vaovasamanaia Winston Peters and Minister for Pacific Peoples Hon Aupito William Sio at the Leulumoega District Hospital where the New Zealand medical teams are helping Samoa respond to the outbreak of measles.

Dr Tanielu is one of many New Zealand volunteers in Samoa working closely with Samoa medical staff to offer assistance since the measles outbreak. She will be joined by a team of SouthSeas Healthcare Samoan-speaking medical professionals to provide more support for the measles response and across the health sector.

Dr Tanielu has a wealth of experience in the public health sector, having worked in both New Zealand as a doctor and Samoa as a Medical Laboratory Technician at the National Hospital in Moto’otua. As an emergency physician at Middlemore hospital, the measles outbreak became personal for her.

The outbreak hits close to home and saw many Samoan doctors and nurses in New Zealand willing to help.

As Samoa continues to battle with the measles crisis, the country has gone into lockdown after a state of emergency was declared. Unvaccinated young children are at the most risk.

So far, over 70 people, mostly children have lost their lives to the disease.

Ministers Vaovasamanaia and Aupito met with Samoa Prime Minister Rt. Hon Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi affirming that New Zealanders are doing incredible work to help, especially with the door to door campaign in the mass vaccination programme.

Dr Tanielu and Dr Teuila Percival will be joined by the SouthSeas Healthcare medical team led by Tagaloa Dr Andrew Chan Mow, who will be in Samoa this week to assist leading up to the festive season.

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