N.H.S. tells family to be “honest”

By Deidre Tautua-Fanene ,

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National Health Service general manager, Palanitina Tupuimatagi Toelupe

National Health Service general manager, Palanitina Tupuimatagi Toelupe (Photo: Samoa Observer)

National Health Service general manager, Palanitina Tupuimatagi Toelupe, has rubbished claims by a family that hospital staff’s negligence led to their son’s paralysis. 

One-year-old Tovanse Meni was taken to the Moto’otua Hospital last year with high fever and later admitted for pneumonia. He was discharged a week later but had to be taken back as his condition deteriorated.

The grandmother of the toddler, Toloa’i Meni, has alleged that nursing staff extracted fluid from his backbone to check for meningitis, which she claimed triggered seizures after the medical procedure was done and eventually led to his paralysis. 

But Palanitina, in response to questions sent to her by Samoa Observer, said the baby’s medical condition was not vaccination-related. 

“We have all the information to state clearly that this was not so. It is not vaccination related."

“The parents need to be honest about what they know and the decisions they made which contributed to their child’s situation."

“The family has had many conversations with health professionals and the Honorable. Minister of Health who had gone out of his way to explain the true situation with the baby’s parents, family and guardians. 

They know and they have been told many times,” she said.

Toloa’i said last month that two days after the medical procedure was undertaken last year, her grandson started experiencing violent seizures and eventually became paralyzed. 

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