Miss Pacific Islands to join measles response
The newly crowned Miss Pacific Islands, Fonoifafo Nancy McFarland-Seumanu, is not sitting pretty while her country is battling a deadly epidemic that has already killed 55 people.
As a registered nurse, the Miss Pacific Islands and Miss Samoa is joining local health authorities to fight measles by administering measles, mumps, and rubella vaccines to village communities. She starts her role with the mass vaccination campaign on Wednesday.
This was highlighted during a press conference hosted by Bluesky to congratulate the Miss Samoa for winning the Pacific title.
For the 24-year-old Ms. Seumanu, she said going out to the communities is her way of giving back to the people of Samoa.
“I have the skills and knowledge that I will utilize in our country,” she said.
“I have experience in the field of measles vaccination so it does work to my benefit in terms of helping our people first hand. I will be joining the nurses help vaccinate the population that has not been vaccinated," she said.
“We were on hold a bit because we had to ensure that all my paper work was up to date but we processed everything to ensure that I would practice as a nurse in Samoa.”
She will also use the Miss Samoa and Miss Pacific Islands platform to promote the importance of being vaccinated.
Asked what she thought of a growing group of anti-vaccination people, especially online, she said that everyone is entitled to their opinions and everyone has reasons for believing what they wish to.
“My perspective from a health background is that I will continue to advocate for everyone to get vaccinated.
“Samoa is going through a hard time and it’s important to stand together instead of opposing each other to ensure that we don’t lose any more lives."
President of Manaia Events Incorporated, Lei'ataua Jerry Brunt, said that they hope that the spirit of the communities affected will be uplifted by the presence and involvement of the Miss Pacific Islands and Miss Samoa.
“We also hope her being involved will put a smile on parents and children’s faces. We needed to make sure that all her paper work was done in terms of local registration as a nurse which had to sort out with Ministry of Health.
“We won the bid to host Miss Pacific Islands next year.”
He also acknowledged all sponsors including Bluesky, Samoa Airways and various fashion houses and including their Manaia Events committee.
Chief Executive Officer for Bluesky Samoa, Satish Kumar Sharma, congratulated Miss Pacific Islands and presented a gift hamper with a Samsung A10 phone and a watch.
“We are proud of you for your achievement, which is not about beauty it is about talent, undergoing pressure and still be able to perform to your best abilities.
“She is an aspiration for the youth and opens a new field for Samoans to aspire to be. She has proved that Samoans can achieve far more.”