Health officials staying alert for Games

The Director General of the Ministry of Health (M.O.H), Leausa Dr. Take Naseri, is confident local health officials are prepared to accomodate thousands more visitors to Samoa in the next couple of weeks.  

Leausa told the media that the Ministry's preparations is not focused only during emergencies or when athletes injure themselves. 

“We have been preparing for three weeks in terms of our monitoring work. It is our responsibility to stay alert by checking people coming into our country in case of any diseases," he said.

"We must also be aware of diseases that are in Samoa so it won’t be spread to the visitors to take to their home countries.

“But mind you, during the Games we will also be on alert and monitor if there is a disease that might spread while the Games are ongoing,” he said. 

Leausa said there will be three medical clinics set up at the Games village in Faleula, the Apia Park stadium and where the sporting venues are located.

“We will be setting up a 24-hour clinic at the Games village for all the teams if there are any injuries or sicknesses,” he said.

The Ministry did their own research on previous Pacific Games to get an understanding of their preparations, according to the Director General, and found out that most of the incidents were connected with the officials and not the athletes. 

“The majority of officials have diabetes, high blood pressure or they might come and forgetting their medications or there are situations where they might undergo health problems hence why we set up three clinics that can cater to any medical needs.

“We also have monitored the food and water consumed by the athletes – so it will all be safe – mind you there are foods that can spread diseases,” he added.

Leausa said they also screened food handlers to ensure no one is sick as well as monitor water quality and the locations of where rubbish is put. 

“We monitor our water closely as well and also the location of where the rubbish will be allocated. But our surveillance work will not stop when the Games are finished, we still monitor two weeks after so we can check if the visitors left any diseases that they brought with them."

Minister of Health, Faimalotoa Kika Stowers said the Tuasivi Hospital in Savai'i is also standing by to attend to any incidents that could occur when the boxing competition is held on the island. 

“The medical staff at Tuasivi are on stand by for any incidents as well from sicknesses, diseases to injuries they have prepared for everything.” 

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