The Nurses Association has recommended that the Ministry of Health resume its immunisation program including administering the measles mumps rubella (M.M.R.) vaccine.
Their recommendations were part of a submission that the association’s vice secretary, Momoti Ulisese Tapuvae, made to the Commission of Inquiry that is investigating the deaths of two one-year-old babies following their vaccination in early July.
“The expanded program on immunisation (E.P.I.) programme is a nurse treatment programme. This is a very important event because it is a national security and to ensure that all the children of Samoa are safe."
“And we have to also look at ways to gain the public trust and to instill the public’s confidence not only in the E.P.I. programme but also the services that we provide. This is important because this is the process where we can bring back that relationship that has all of a sudden damaged because of some incidents,” he said in his submission.
Momoti said the uplifting of the ban on vaccines will also give the nurses an opportunity to reconcile amongst themselves and with the public.
“And we have to also look at ways to gain the public trust and to instill the public’s confidence not only in the E.P.I. programme but also the services that we provide. This is important because this is the process where we can bring back that relationship that has all of a sudden damage because of some incidents. This is also a good chance to reconcile not only amongst us but also with the public.”
The involvement of health sector leaders in the reconciliation process is also crucial, as Momoti is of the view that their presence and support will unify all entities under the health sector.
Nurses Association President Solialofi Papalii and representative Muamai Lualua also attended the hearing.
The inquiry was adjourned following the submission by the Nurses Association with commissioner-member Tuiloma Neroni Slade indicating that they will resume their public hearings at a later date.