Nurses Association questions police charges

By Deidre Tautua-Fanene ,

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The Nurses Association of Samoa.

The Nurses Association of Samoa. (Photo: Samoa Observer)

The Nurses Association of Samoa has questioned the decision of the Ministry of Police to charge a nurse over the deaths of two toddlers in Savai’i when the findings of a postmortem are yet to be made known.

The Nurses Association president, Solialofi Papalii, told the Samoa Observer in an interview that they are still confused over the decision as the postmortem results are not known and another nurse who allegedly administered the vaccine remains free.

“There are the two flat sides and the wheel in the middle. These are the charges from the police and their investigation and we are so confused on how they were able to have charges, when results of the postmortem that was conducted by an Australian specialist is not here yet.

“Another thing is that they have charged the senior Nurse and yet there was a manager who oversee everything as well as other nurses that were there and yet she is the only one that been charged and held in custody.

“There is one other nurse who administered the other vaccination and yet she is not charged so we are puzzled that this information is not clear to us. We were told that the nurse that is now in custody was the one who mixed the vaccination but we are not sure whether she was the one who mixed both vaccinations for both toddlers,” said Solialofi.

The nurse who was recently arrested and charged by the police has 37 years of experience and has worked in the pediatric as well as surgical and obstetrics wards, and is a senior nurse at the Safotu hospital. 

“She is a very competent person and she is very honest with her work so I’m not sure what happened but within the association we were always told that if we weren’t sure of anything then we have to double check it and ask the doctors.

“When it comes to the caring for the patients, doctors and nurses have to work together to ensure the patient are given the right dose or the right vaccination. 

So there is a big question mark on how the charges were made when the Commission of Inquiry is not complete and most especially the post mortem result is not here.”

Solialofi said there are inconsistencies in the decision to lay charges against the nurse but they will let the police to do their work and wait for the findings from their investigations. 

“All we can do is firstly sent out our deepest sympathy to the families of the two toddlers that were affected from this.

“Secondly we have to ensure that our nurse in custody is okay we have to visit her and encourage her to be strong during these difficult times. We will give her our full support while she goes through these rough times,” she added.

© Samoa Observer 2016

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