P.M. orders arrest of Kangen water man
The seller of a debunked Kangen water treatment for measles had his arrest personally ordered by the Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Dr. Sailele Malielegaoi, on Saturday.
The order came after Fritz Filisi Alai’asa reopened his clinic on Saturday morning claiming that Tuilaepa had given him permission to resume his alternative treatments which he purports to have curative properties.
“Tell Police to arrest him,” Tuilaepa said in response to questions from the Samoa Observer, after learning about the clinic reopening and the claim he had given it the green light to do so.
Tuilaepa denied that he had authorised the re-opening of Mr. Alai’asa’s clinic after it was shut down by health authorities earlier this week for breaching Public Health Act.
“Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sa'ilele Malielegaoi never gave authorisation to Fritz Filisi Alaiasa to reopen his clinic after it was shut down by Public Health and Police earlier this week,” the Government Press Secretariat replied in a statement.
“Alaiasa did meet with the Prime Minister on Friday and at that meeting the Prime Minister said that he told Filisi that the water that he is using is not a cure.”
When the Samoa Observer visited Mr. Alai’asa’s home at Fa’atoia on Saturday morning, more than twenty children were with their parents waiting to get sprayed with Kangen water.
Mr. Alai’asa and four other staff were seen spraying children on their mother’s lap in the fale .
“Go to the Prime Minister, and stop reporting lies,” said Mr. Ala’iasa when he was asked why he was continuing to treat sick children after being told by Police to stop.
Asked what does the Prime Minister have to do with him, Mr. Alai’asa said: “The Prime Minister is okay [for me] to continue [treating sick children] this. Get out of here, it’s my responsibility [to treat children].”
But Tuilaepa maintained this was not true and has asked Police to arrest Mr. Alai’asa.
At around 10 am, officials from the Ministry of Health and several Police Officers arrived at Mr. Alai’asa’s premises, the road to which the security guard has attempted to block off with log.
Senior Sergeant Efo Moalele drove towards the blocked road and warned the security guard that interfering with police work is a criminal offence.
About four Police officers were seen going inside Mr. Alai’asa’s home and speaking to him.
After two hours police and N.E.O.C. left the premises and Mr. Alai’asa told parents that were waiting that they had to leave.
This is the second time that Police and the Ministry of Health had to ask Mr. Alai’asa to stop his operation.
The Police Commissioner, Fuiavailiili Egon Keil said Police were assisting with Health’s call to attend to Mr. Alai’asa’s home and to stop what he was doing.
He confirmed that Mr. Alai’asa has not been charged yet but warned that if he continues to run his operation that Police will put him in
“We are looking at the safety of our people and he does not have a medical certificate to treat our people and he shouldn’t be,” Fuiavailiili told the Samoa Observer.
“We don’t need con artists and witchcrafts at this time giving false hope of alternative medicines.
“What our people need are medical professionals to treat the sick them and that is being provided by medical teams from U.S, Australia, New Zealand and our doctors.”
The Commissioner said people need to be receiving the right information and those who are infected need to seek help from professionals and not con artists.
Asked if Police will not press charges against Mr. Alai’asa who claims to have treatment for measles and allegedly misleading people, Fuiavailiili said it will be the last resort.
“If he continues to go down that pathway they we will have no option but to do that,” he said.
“We are trying to make that as the last resort. Everyone is suffering this time and we don’t want to lock people up but if we must we will.
“We all need each other right now and we don’t want to take advantage of this situation…we are hoping people can use some common sense.”
Furthermore, the Commissioner said let it be a warning to those that continue to defy orders and instructions from the authority that they will be charged and arrested for doing so.
In his weekly radio programme the Prime Minister foreshadowed a crackdown on anti-vaccination activists.
“People are being misled with claims that there are traditional medicines that can cure it," he said.
"The Police should find them and put them in Tanumalala prison to teach them a lesson."
Tuilaepa noted that several fatal cases involving children had involved parents taking time to seek alternative treatment.