The Japanese Embassy donated 46 variety of dental equipment to the Dental Clinic at Tupua Tamasese Meaole Hospital yesterday.
The equipment included dental chairs, dental surgery unit, dental lab equipment, dental x-ray machines and many more sourced directly from Japan.
Japan’s Ambassador to Samoa, Maugaoleatuolo Shinya Aoki, donated the equipment to the Minister of Health, Tuitama Leao Dr. Talalelei Tuitama, at the National Hospital of Samoa.
Maugaoleatuolo said there would be a dental mobile vehicle arriving in August this year, which is also part of the donation.
“The donated equipment was requested by the Government of Samoa in the financial year 2015, in a cooperation agreement supported by the Japanese Supplementary Budget,” said the Ambassador.
He added that there was an exchange of notes signed in April 2016, between the Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi and former Ambassador of Japan to Samoa, Tuimaugaoalii Kazumasa Shibuta.
This agreement promised a grant of $2 million Japanese Yen (US$1.9m, T$4.83m) under the Japan’s grant assistance aid for the Economic and Social Development program that was divided equally among the two projects requested at the time - the Samoa Fire and Emergency Services and Dental Care services.
Maugaoleatuolo told the Samoa Observer that Japan’s standard of dental service is very high compared with the other regions and he hopes to see Samoa become the hub of dental services in the South Pacific.
He added the Government of Japan looks forward to inviting medical doctors and dentists to study in Japan.
“I would like to see dentists come into this country and I would like to see many young Samoans come to visit not only in New Zealand and Australia, but in Japan too so they can study.”
He believes dental care is very important for our health.
“This year we aim to have mobile dentist services so that they can visit villages in rural areas, both in Upolu and Savaii, so that it can be convenient for villagers who can’t make it to Apia, so we have committed to having mobile dental unit to arrive in August.
“Japan’s new strategy is open and free throughout the Oceania region because Asia/Pacific is a vital economic development area and we should mobilise and enhance the economic and social development of this country, so Japan has the responsibility of this area.”
He emphasized on the importance of a country’s social stability development, which requires economic and social development, hence their commitment to Samoa.
The Minister of Health was thankful to the Japanese Government.
“We wish to express our appreciation to the Government of Japan for this much needed assistance, to note as of today, the Government of Japan has been assisting Samoa’s dental service for many years through its volunteer service program that includes dental specialists and dental technicians,” Tuitama said.
He was excited to announce that the first client to use the equipment provided by the Japanese Government was Prime Minister Tuilaepa.