Focus on Primary Health Care: Minister
For his next five years at the helm of the Health Services, the Minister of Health; Dr. Tuitama Leao Talalelei Tuitama is now looking at strengthening Primary Health care.
“The district hospitals with the associated community health care will be strengthened to provide for early prevention, diagnosis and management of illness and disease.” he said.
“The control of these district hospitals is under our National Hospital (T.T.M) and for Savai’i the Savai’i Referral Hospital (MT2,
“I believe that these strategies will improve and provide an answer to long outstanding issues such as waiting times and overcrowding of our outpatients at the T.T.M. Hospital. He added that strengthening maternal child and health care is also another issue that he’s looking at now.
“This is to ensure that family planning/counseling services and immunization/breastfeeding are carried out in the work environment and within communities.
“Safe water supply and basic sanitation, basic but essential public health services will be made stronger by having an Environmental Officer.
“And also through regular contact and visits from our National Public Health Disease Surveillance team using these districts hospitals as bases info the community.
Then there is the health care services.
“This will include one on one or group counseling services covering priority health issues challenging the health of our communities,” he said.
“This will include sessions covering education on nutrition and healthy diets, risk factors for NCD’s, prevention and control of locally endemic disease.
“As well as addressing threats at the community level of any new disease threats affecting the whole country, especially, as we become more conscious of the impacts of climate change on health.”
Tuitama believes that through the full cooperation of the community of their health and their environment, health development will be strengthened in the spirit of self-reliance and self determination within communities.
Tuitama was elected in Parliament in 2011 representing A’ana Alofi No.1. and this is his second term as Minister of Health.