Patient's guardian decries death toll

A hospital patient’s guardian, who spent a week living in the Intensive Care Unit (I.C.U.), has expressed shock witnessing measles fatalities and appealed to parents not to leave their children unsupervised and keep them away from crowded places.

Vaea Faasii of Vaitele-uta, who is a guardian to a patient at the Tupua Tamasese Meaole National Hospital at Motootua, was at the I.C.U. since last Wednesday when his relative was admitted.

He said it was tragic seeing the increasing number of deaths from measles and the number of fatalities and the mourning that followed by families and relatives is shocking.

“It’s like we’re getting used to seeing families crying over their deceased children and it’s looking scary,” he said. 

“It’s my first time seeing people, mostly children dying one after one another at the hospital, especially at the I.C.U. where I’m currently caregiving at.”

Shocked at the increasing fatalities in the national hospital, Mr Faasii appealed to parents to ensure their children are supervised and should not be allowed into crowded places, where the risks of infection are high.

“I know some families would just read and hear about the stories of the dead children and just let it slide by but you don’t know when it’ll hit your families,” he said.

Mr Faasii also appealed to the public to acknowledge the life-saving efforts of nurses and doctors working at the national hospital.

“Seeing these doctors also risking their lives working day and night to prevent measles is also an effort worth acknowledging,” he said. “I’m not expressing my opinion so I would be on the paper but I want to point out to our dear country that instead of pointing fingers, we should work together to prevent this deadly disease and that’s through our prayers Samoa.’

He said it is time for Samoans to practise their Christian faith and unite in prayer for families who have lost loved ones and those with children currently hospitalised.

Opting to keep the identity of his sick relative confidential, Mr Faasii said he did not want to create any misunderstanding, but it needed to be said that the measles epidemic is claiming too many young lives and parents should be responsible for their children’s welfare by stopping them from playing outdoors and going to public areas where there are crowds of people. 

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