B.G.W. donates to elderly residents, doctors

Not-for-profit-group Brown Girl Woke (B.G.W.) has donated personal protection gear, disinfectant and face masks to the Mapuifagalele Home of the Aged and a doctors association.

B.G.W. founder Maluseu Doris Tulifau told Samoa Observer that they opted to assist the aged care facility due to the vulnerability of the resident’s elderly population to the COVID-19 coronavirus.

"We went to Mapuifagalele because we know the elderly are most vulnerable during COVID-19," she said.

Pharmacies and retail outlets in Apia have run short of face masks and hand sanitisers, due to increasing concerns amongst the public of the potential risks of coronavirus infection, following the detection of suspected cases.

Maluseu said they were strategic in choosing who to assist when her organisation heard of the shortage. 

"We have been hearing that masks and sanitisers are not in stock at stores so we wanted to make sure that we could give to places that needed it the most. Mapuifagalele was our first stop," she said. 

The Little Sisters of the Poor, who run the aged care facility, were jubilant with the donation as it came when there was a shortage of the essential items in Apia.

Sister-in-charge Sr Alosia said they sought the assistance of the Ministry of Health, pharmacies and people abroad without success.

"We actually seek assistance from the Ministry of Health, pharmacies and overseas people. However, due to the cancellation of boats and planes, we don't know where else to ask for help. We are grateful for B.G.W. and may God bless them,” she said.

The group donated bottles of sanitisers, 100 face masks, boxes of gloves, antibacterial hand soap and disinfectant wipes.

Three doctors were also the recipients of a donation with Maluseu indicating that Le Mamea Dr Fiu, Leituala Dr Matalavea and Dr John Adams received essential supplies to assist them during the COVID-19 crisis. 

Dr John Adams said he was grateful for the B.G.W. donation while Le Mamea said the COVID-19 crisis is different from the measles epidemic which attracted a lot of support from doctors abroad. 

"We need to understand everyone has a role to play to help the community. The difference between coronavirus and measles is we had help from overseas with 600 doctors and supplies,” he said. 

“But the coronavirus borders are closed and the whole world is trying to use their resources for their own nation. What we need to do is stay isolated, stay home, and remember everyone has a role to play, to make our country safe.”

Leituala stressed the importance of Samoans looking out for the symptoms of the deadly virus that is taking a lot of lives globally. 

"We need to know the symptoms like flu, short of breath, fever, coughing and to wash our hands. We have to make sure our everyone in the community is involved and has a plan to isolate and to avoid group gatherings," he said.

Le Mamea is the President of the General Practitioners Association and a private doctor, Leituala is the Vice President and clinical director of National Kidney Foundation, and Dr John Adams is Mapuifagalele's doctor.

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