Church targets health and better with TV programme

The Seventh Day Adventist Church (S.D.A.) in Samoa and American Samoa is working on a television programme to promote healthy living and spread the good news of the gospel.

Using the Samoan language, the programme will be aired on the church-run television station in the two countries.

The project was launch on Monday at Lalovaea.

American Samoa Adventist Media Managing Director, Tipalelupe Tapuai, said they want to create more local content for their audience, and content that is relevant.

"The project goal is to provide a media production to produce content for our television stations, both for Samoa and American Samoa because we have a lack of Samoan language content so we're trying to produce as many Samoan programmes for our viewers," he said.

"We have our Samoan people in the village setting and also here in Samoa. We're trying to value our own language so we want to present the gospel Christian messages using our own language."

The production crew will use three studios and 50 professionals — comprising people with various backgrounds including youth and medicine — when producing the programme. 

They will talk about issues that will not only improve the lives of people in Samoa, but also grow their spiritual lives.

Mr. Tapuai said their aim is to produce 200 local content programmes for their church members.

"That's our number one aim so to achieve that we have to come up with this, and we have to do it in one week because it's very expensive to do this.

"And it's our aim that after one week we can produce maybe 200 programmes and then we are hoping that we can instill in the participants the knowledge, the skills and also the passion to continue on because we want to sustain this."

Two health specialists will feature on the programme are Dr. Paul Wood, from the South Pacific Society of Lifestyle Medicine, and Dr. Paul Tofilau who is an Obstetrician and Gynaecologist.

Their roles are important for the series. Dr. Tofilau, who is Samoan born and raised, has special interest in primary healthcare. 

Thinking about traditional Samoan ways of dieting, he said the general health of Samoans today is "terrible" and there is a need to return to the basics. 

"We should go back to the original Samoa diet and leave out the modern food because that's where the problem is. Go back to doing the usual chores at home, do the plantation and swim in the sea. That's where the solution is," he said.

He added that this is a great opportunity for Samoa and the people should hear this.

"Health statistics profile of Samoa is really not good and we need to change that and we can change it," he said.

Lifestyle specialist, Dr. Wood traveled to Samoa to train people as facilitators for the comprehensive health improvement programme (C.H.I.P).

This is an evidence based program that uses diets, exercises, stress managements and rests. Simple lifestyle related principles to help people prevent, arrest and reverse non-communicable diseases like diabetes and heart disease.

The Hope Project will strive to spread both Gospels in Samoan language and health awareness for Samoa and American Samoa.

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