Hospital laundromat gets much-needed upgrade

The Tupua Tamasese Meaole (T.T.M.) Hospital at Moto'otua launched a new laundry featuring new washing machines, dryers and ironing equipment worth $577,786 on Monday.

It is a great improvement from three small washing machines and three manually powered irons for hospital sheets and cloth, said the Minister of Health, Faimalotoa Kika Stowers.

The equipment was funded by the Government of Samoa. Speaking during the launch Faimalotoa said the equipment is a dream come true for the TTM Hospital, especially in times of preparations for COVID-19.

"The challenges of the Laundromat service at the TTM Hospital are not new and were especially highlighted internally since 2013, by the then National Health Services Infection Control Committee," she said.

"Those challenges were further realised by the N.H.S. Transitional Board in 2018 under the Chairmanship of Hon Tuitama Leao Talalelei Tuitama and; the urgent need to replace domestic washers, dryers and irons was brought to the attention of Cabinet."

Faimalotoa explained that the cost of the equipment was high due to the need for standards to be met of cleanliness, high temperatures and chemicals to ensure hygiene. 

The estimated daily laundry load at the hospital is 540 kilos per day. The room runs for 10 hours a day. 

Irons have been specially manufactured to ensure easy maintenance and easy use. The handguard, for instance, incorporates a double sensor hand protector. 

The machines can also be programmed to meet infection control and hygiene standards.

She thanked the Minister of Revenue, Tialavea Tionisio Hunt, and the Minister of Finance, Sili Epa Tuioti, for reaffirming the decision to outsource the procurement of the industrial machines to the Arco Chemical Company at the cost of $577,786.

"On behalf of the Government of Samoa I wish to thank the Arco Chemical Company and their overseas partner Girbau Industrial for their facilitating this urgent need in health," said Faimalotoa.

"The continuous challenge in hospital maintenance especially of this expensive investment will be dealt with by the Ministry of Health during this fiscal year."

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