World Tuberculosis (T.B.) Day was commemorated at Faleata College yesterday.
The rain did not deter the spirit of students who carried out awareness activities reflecting this year’s theme: “Wanted: Leader for a free world”.
Ministry of Health C.E.O, Leausa Dr. Take Naseri said World T.B. Day is commemorated every year around the world to highlight the dangers of the illness and preventive measures.
“This year’s event continues to focus on schools and communities in preventing and eliminating the spread of T.B,” Leausa said. “This is our future. Our Government has given priority to education and health.
“Tuberculosis is one of the worse top health challenges with 1.5 million T.B. associated deaths every year. It is a threat to development and health security to any country.”
Faleata College commemorated this day through a speech competition and fun entertainment such as skits and dance.
They were divided into four houses and each team had to have one representative to carry out their message.
Nelisa Tapuai, a Year 12 student from house number four, won the speech competition.
The 15-year-old is from Vaitele-Fou. She is the daughter of Feagaiga and Feu’u Tapuai.
Nelisa has no background in the Science field, but said when the opportunity was given to her, she took it.
“My topic was given to me on Monday this week. Every day after school I worked on my speech. It is tiring because I have training every day. But I was determined to strive for the best.
“There were four of us. Two representatives from the level 12 and the other from level 13.
“I would like to acknowledge Mr. Eteuati for helping me on my speech,” she said.
She explained: “Tuberculosis is an infectious disease that usually affects the lungs. Compared with other diseases caused by a single infectious agent, tuberculosis is the second biggest killer, globally.
“T.B. can be spread through the air from person to person if the affected person coughs, sneezes, spits, talks or laughs. Simply anyone can be affected easily without their knowledge.
“T.B. can be fatal if left untreated, for it can also spread through the blood causing complications such as spinal pain, joint damage, liver or kidneys damaged, heart disorders and meningitis (the swelling of the membranes that covers the brain).”
Australian High Commissioner, Sara Moriarty, was also present. She was impressed with the speeches presented by the students.
“I was really pleased to be able to come along and support this event this morning. I thought that these students put in so much effort and did a lot of research.
“They were very passionate about the issues and it was very inspiring. I love the leadership that they showed themselves when they were talking about leaders of a free T.B. world.”
Moriarty adds she enjoys being part of such events despite being in Samoa for only four weeks.
“The goal I think is to understand Samoan. I have never been here before so it is all very new to me. I really want to learn some of the language because obviously today (yesterday) was a good example where some of the speeches were in Samoan. I think it will be really important for me to understand the language and culture better.
“Australia has been a strong supporter of Samoa for a very long time. We have had a great relationship for many years and I am really looking forward to the next three years of working here.