The Samoa Cancer Society (S.C.S) is singing Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi’s praises.
In the 11th hour after being given the run around by government officials, it was the Prime Minister who salvaged the Society’s hopes for the war memorial clock in downtown Apia to be painted pink to commemorate Pinktober.
Pinktober is designed to promote awareness and encourage women to get tested so that breast cancer can be detected at an earlier stage.
Without the Prime Minister’s approval, the Society would not have made the deadline to paint the town clock right on the dot before the Pinktober launched on October 1st, a statement from Press Secretary said.
Over the years, many monuments, including the Empire State building, the White House, the Eiffel Tower and the Sydney Opera House, have been illuminated with pink lights to raise awareness on breast cancer. And Samoa has joined that list as the first Pacific Island to paint a national monument pink to promote cancer awareness.
But its more than just profiling Samoa, says the Prime Minister.
“It’s about saving lives and it shows to the world that Samoa values the lives of her people,” continued Tuilaepa.
“It is important for people to realise the importance of early detection to save the life of a mother, a sister, a wife or a daughter,” the Prime Minister added.
“Pinktober is a good reminder that early detection is key to prevention and successful treatments not only of breast cancer, but for many different diseases.
“It is also an opportunity to mourn those that we have lost, celebrate those who are surviving and educate those who are unaware.
“It is important to know the statistics, understand how breast cancer detection and treatment has evolved, realize that men are also affected as well as understand resources available to learn more about it.”
The Prime Minister’s last minute endorsement comes as no surprise as he is a devout supporter of the Cancer Society and their mandate to encourage woman to seek medical checkups for early detection of breast cancer.
In 2012, Tuilaepa became the first government leader to shave his hair bald to raise close to $100,000 for the Cancer Society.
The following year, he tie-dye his hair for the same course. So when he gave his endorsement for the Memorial town clock to be painted pink to support Pinktober, it came as no big surprise.