The Tupua Tamasese Meaole Hospital housed clinical dermatologist, Dr. Anthony Hall, who visited from 5 to 10 November to assist with meeting priority needs in service delivery, capacity building and systems strengthening.
Under the Australian Government funded Pacific Islands Program (P.I.P.) Dr. Hall was able to attend to various skin cases at the Hospital’s Outpatients clinic.
Cases ranged from rashes, pigmented lesions and hair loss.
National Health Service Dermatology Trainee, Dr. Helena Va’a Fuimaono, was assigned to work with Dr. Hall during his visit. She said Dr. Hall had been a valuable asset in assessing various cases and diagnosing a number of dermatological services that were not available locally.
Dr. Hall also held a presentation at the hospital, titled ‘Dermatology in the Pacific’ during which he shared his knowledge, passion and years of experience within the dermatology field.
Dr. Fuimaono said the Samoan Ministry of Health had been liaising with P.I.P. and clinicians from Australia to facilitate these visits.
“We receive consistent support and assistance in diagnoses, and improved management of various cases from visiting clinicians supported by Australia,” Dr. Fuimaono said.
Dr. Hall has previously visited the Solomon Islands, and has a good overview on skin related health issues across the region, and how they relate to other health problems, such as rheumatic fever. This was his first visit to Samoa.
“Working with doctors and health care workers of the Samoan National Health Service, I have noted they are doing a great job of early treatment of significant skin health diseases such as scabies and impetigo,” said Dr. Hall.
He encouraged people to seek medical assistance as early as possible to avoid further skin complications in the future.
“I’ve seen many people with different skin health issues and various skin diseases that are concerning. If people seek early treatment with their doctor or at hospital, then serious complications of many common skin diseases can be averted.”
“Early treatment may avoid the devastating consequences of these diseases including rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease, kidney disease, severe blood infections or septicaemia, bone infections or osteomyelitis, joint infections such as septic arthritis, and early death,” he added.
The Australian High Commissioner, Sara Moriarty, met the doctors on Thursday 8 November and welcomed the visiting clinician.
“The Australian Government is proud to support this valuable program, as skin deformities can have a horrific impact on people’s lives and social well-being,” Ms Moriarty said.