Nine fa’afafines have been encouraged to use their different strengths to combat health issues in the country as they gear up for the 10th Miss Health Fa’afafine pageant.
During the pageant’s speech competition held at the Ministry of Health, the Director General of Health, Leausa Dr. Take Naseri encouraged fa’afafines to be part of the solution.
The theme for this year’s pageant is ‘Eat the Colour of the Rainbow’ to promote health of a variety of coloured fruit and vegetables.
Leausa said fa’fafines are a special group of people with special traits and abilities.
He pointed out that Samoa is in the middle of a crisis with growing number of Non Communicable Diseases and a high level of Sexually Transmission Infections.
“With all these we feel that we need special people like you with your special skills to help combat these prominent health issues,” said the Director General.
“I know the president (So’oalo Roger Stanley) is very active in public talking to youth but I know he can’t do it by himself. We need more people to do it and I feel you are specially needed now to combat these issues.”
Leausa recalled he had a consultant in hospital who would often ask how many senses God gave a person. He said everyone knew there were five but no one could answer which sense is the strongest of them all.
“Nobody could answer that and he said common sense is the combination of the five senses,” said Leausa.
“Most of us forget to use common sense. When it comes to your situation you are a combination of common sense, not only are you masculine, you have feminine features.”
The president of the Fa’afafine Association, So’oalo Roger Stanley spoke in support.
In acknowledging the sponsors together with the Ministry of Health for their partnership, So’oalo reminded everyone of the importance of using condoms.
The pageant will be held tonight at the Tuanaimato gymnasium.
The president promised a night of fun and laughter.
“We put on a great show; we make fun of ourselves on stage and for the public and we raise some funds for charities,” the President said.
“I mean as fa’afafine that’s what we do. But we would not be able to do this without the public’s support, without our sponsors, government and ministries who partner with us.”
The pageant has been holding different events each day leading up to the main event tonight.