Director of Health Asks Overseas Samoans to Not Send the Elderly Unaccompanied



Samoa’s Director General of Health has called on diaspora to not send the elderly unaccompanied on repatriation flights without making prior necessary arrangements for their care.

It was revealed during an NEOC press conference this week that out of the fifteen repatriation flights to date, there was always an unaccompanied elderly on each flight.

Leeausa Dr Take Naseri says this has added another burden to Health workers because of the special care and health needs of our elderly during the 14 day quarantine period.

Leausa confirmed that on last weeks repatriation flight which brought home 274 Samoans, two elderly were on the flight with no family members to escort them.

“They are now under the care of the nurses at Faleolo District Hospital because they need to be taken care of 24/7 while on quarantine for two weeks..”

“Please Samoans abroad do not think that quarantine is an easy task, it is not..”

“And please if you know that your elderly family member will be brought home unescorted then it’s better to let them
stay there with you until  negotiations can be made for someone to escort them here,” Leausa said.

Leausa says some of our elderly who have been in quarantined isolation alone have needed medication that are not available here, and MOH workers have found it difficult to try and meet their special needs.

Three more repatriation flights are expected before the end of the year; a direct flight from the US and two more on the 4th and 7th of December from New Zealand.

Marieta H Ilalio