Hospital laptop theft "unspeakably despicable"
Finding a mobile x-ray machine's laptop which was stolen at the Tupua Tamasese Meaole Hospital last weekend is a top priority for the Ministry of Police.
This is according to Commissioner of Police, Fuiavaili’ili Egon Keil who described the theft as "unspeakably despicable."
“The Criminal Investigation Division is on a mission to locate the laptop and the culprit," he said.
"It is top priority given the importance context and information on this laptop.
“What occurred is unspeakably despicable; especially that this equipment was helping with the measles crisis response."
According to the Commissioner, a number of hospital officials were interviewed by the Police pertaining to this matter.
“We spoke to the nurses, doctors, security guards and other personnel that were present the day this valuable laptop was stolen. Unfortunately the video footage wasn’t available,” said Fuiavaili’ili.
Leituala Dr. Ben Matalavea of the Department of Health said the mobile x-ray machine is an essential tool for managing the radiography needs of very sick children in the paediatric ward, who are unable to be moved to the x-ray laboratory on the ground floor of the Hospital.
Leituala told the Samoa Observer earlier this week there are at least 16 children in intensive care requiring the mobile x-ray machine, and 159 in-patients with measles across Samoa’s hospitals.
Leituala, who shared the problem on Facebook, said he knew some people would have preferred the whole incident remained secret.
But he feels strongly people should know what is happening in their hospital.
“I know not everyone agrees with my methods,” he said.
“But it helps if everyone knows. Maybe someone will just return it where someone will find it.”
The Commissioner appealed to the alleged culprit to return the laptop which was brought into Samoa by the Australian Medical Assistance Team (AUS.M.A.T.).