Baby case under scrutiny

By Deidre Tautua-Fanene ,

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PARALYSED TODDLER: Tovanse Meni.

PARALYSED TODDLER: Tovanse Meni. (Photo: Misiona Simo)

The case of a toddler who became paralysed after he was admitted in hospital for suspected meningitis is being checked by the National Health Service (N.H.S.).

N.H.S. general manager, Palanitina Tupuimatagi Toelupe, said this when responding to questions from Samoa Observer, but refused to give any more details. 

“I am unable to provide any information regarding the Samoa Observer’s front page on Tuesday. I need the relevant professionals to check this out before the N.H.S. can comment,” she said. 

When she was asked if they had a timeline to complete their investigations, she said: “I really can’t say for now please.”

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. His grandmother Toloa’i Meni alleged nursing staff extracted fluids from his backbone to check for meningitis, which she claimed triggered seizures after the medical procedure was done.

“I then asked them if this (medical procedure) will affect my grandson, given that he is only six months at the time, but they said ‘no’, they only needed to get a small amount of water from his backbone so that they can run some tests to determine whether he’s got meningitis,” she said. 

According to Toloa’i nurses told her they were not able to assist her grandson despite his deteriorating condition. 

“He started having seizures and his arm and leg started shaking non-stop so I asked them and they said it’s nothing then they would do another injection to stop him from having seizures. From those seizures, I saw my grandson’s head was growing and his legs and arms started to get stiff and I asked them but they didn’t give me an answer,” she said.

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