A milestone visit by medical professionals, delighted Savaii residents

About seventy patients mostly children in Savaii have been blessed after a milestone visit by a group of medical professionals from Interplast Team from Australia and New Zealand last week.

Fifteen patients have already been operated on in Savaii with mostly Cleft Lips and Cleft Palates off the babies, congenital hands, tumors, cancer removals, burns contractors and so forth.

Over 40 general patients also had chances to consult with the professionals in Savaii and 15 leftover patients from Savaii are queuing at the Tupua Tamasese Motootua Hospital for their operations.

It has been 11 years since Interplast program has visited Samoa for operations like these and this is the first ever for Savaii residents to welcome the professionals on their lands.

Heads of the group, Doctor Benjamin Norris and his Samoan wife, Ainu’u Norma Schwalger in their line of work are very proud and honored to have extended the program to Savaii for the first time.

“There was also a group of people that have been doing it for the last 10 years but with Savaiis’ concern, that was a milestone trip as no outreach program as ever gone out to Savaii before and no one that haven’t had a general anesthetic done in Savaii,” Ainu’u said.

“So we feel that this has been an amazing trip and it has been a massive milestone and it’s something that we’d really hope whether its’ be here or every two years or something because there’s a population we’ve been told about 50,000 people in Savaii.”

Ainu’u whose life is culturally rooted said this is her way of helping her Samoan communities and utilizing their medical skills as doctors and nurses.

Because she’s very involved in her Samoan family, her parents live in Samoa and she has moved back to Samoa and she has a lot of families living in Samoa, it was the main reason of doing this so she thought, why not help Samoa?

“In Savaii, it was just three of us, it was just me, Ben and our other scrub nurse and we went with four of the locals, two doctors and two nurses and it was fantastic.”

Interplast is hopeful that even if it’s every two years, they wish for Savaii to continue being in the program as they have already operated on many patients.

In Savaii, they don’t do general anesthetic as they can’t so as well as any kind of major operations.

Savaii residents filling the hallway were sighted excited waiting for each ones’ turn to enter the operating room.

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