Samoa scales up anti-doping efforts

By Nefertiti Matatia ,

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PACIFIC GAMES 2019 PREPARES: Leituala Dr. Ben Matalavea and Chairperson of the S.M.A.D.A., Kerrie Punivalu.

PACIFIC GAMES 2019 PREPARES: Leituala Dr. Ben Matalavea and Chairperson of the S.M.A.D.A., Kerrie Punivalu. (Photo: Misiona Simo)

In preparation for the Pacific Games in Samoa next year, the Samoa Medical and Anti-Doping Agency (S.M.A.D.A.) is preparing to deal with drug users.

With just 14 more months for the Pacific Games, S.M.A.D.A. is hosting a workshop to build knowledge and skills of participants to be compliant with the International Olympic Committee (I.O.C.) medical code and also the world anti-doping code.

Chairperson of the S.M.A.D.A., Kerrie Punivalu, said during the first two days of the workshop, they will be implementing the foundation and strategic plan for the delivery of medical services and anti-doping services for the Pacific Games.

“This means that we are looking at forming resources, resource documentation to help the Ministry of Health towards delivering safe and efficient services for the Pacific Games."

“The following two days will be a pre-hospitalization training course where we will train 18 of our local doctors in emergency care just the latest technology and the latest training for critical care that can occur within sports,” she said.

Ms. Punivalu also acknowledged the support of the Samoa Association of Sports and National Olympic Committee and the Olympic committee who delivered the courses. 

“Most of the key stakeholders for the country of Samoa so they include the Ministry of Health, National Health Services, Red Cross, Samoa Fire and Emergencies Services Authority (F.E.S.A.) some of our independent medical sports doctors that are available, all those people have a stake hold in the development of the medical service and the delivery of medical services and anti-doping services to the country.”

The Medical Commission Samoa Medical and Anti-Doping Agency, Leituala Dr. Ben Matalavea emphasized on the importance of understanding the anti-doping.

“For us to host these games, some sports will qualify for the Olympic Games or World Championships. So it is a must that we comply with the world code and the I.O.C. medical code because it is part of our obligation in hosting these games."

“This is a process to make us well prepared. We don’t have much time but we are very fortunate that we have regional organizations that look after us in these areas like the Oceania Olympic committee, the Oceania Regional Anti-doping that we tap on the resources that they have because we are a very small country, So that it will be in line and compliant with the world I.O.C. medical code and also the world anti-doping code. We are trying our best to be compliant with those codes."

“As we all know, when we were given the opportunity to host these games it is a very urgent matter for us because we do not have much time. So S.A.S.N.O.C. to deliver this part of this commitment to the games have form S.M.A.D.A. to help deliver this part of the component of our commitment to the Games and it is a must that we should do it and it is a must that we do it now.”

© Samoa Observer 2016

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