Proposed training center for nurses progresses

Work on a proposed multipurpose training center for nurses has started with the Ministry of Health beginning the recruitment process to employ a consultant who will supervise the project.

The Ministry has advertised for a consultant to have oversight over the $3.48 million tala project which is funded by the New Zealand government.

The project was announced by the New Zealand government last year and coincided with the centenary of the deadly influenza pandemic which killed one-fifth of Samoa's population in 1918.

According to the Request for Expression of Interest put out by the Ministry of Health, the training facility will provide multipurpose disciplinary training programmes. 

“In line with the Government of Samoa’s priority on placing the focus back on public health/ population health, the training centre will provide for a multi-purpose disciplinary training program for all disciplines working in the rural health facilities, a refuge for evacuation purposes and other functional requirements of the Samoa Nurses Association,” states the Request for Expression of Interest documentation. 

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This proposed centre was first announced in November last year by the New Zealand Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister, Vaovasamanaia Winston Peters.

The announcement coincided with the 100 years anniversary of the flu outbreak in Samoa, with Vaovasamanaia describing the consequences as devastating. 

“One hundred years ago the New Zealand passenger ship Talune arrived in Apia, with flu infected passengers on board. The consequences of that arrival were devastating. 

“We acknowledge that almost all Samoan families were impacted in some way by the epidemic and we respectfully join with Samoa to mark the centenary today (yesterday) as National Health Day,” he said last year.

At the time, Vaovasamanaia said the New Zealand Government will continue its ongoing support by giving $2 million to refurbish a nurse training facility. 

He said at the time the nurses’ training centre supports Samoa’s plan to reintroduce a community health model whereby trained teams go out to the villages to provide primary health care.

The M.O.H. noted this project is in line with their overarching objectives of improving "access to and utilisation of effective, efficient and quality health services to improve the health status of Samoa’s population". 

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