The Agape Jal nurse-led primary health care services has issued an official response to comments made by the Director General of Health Leausa Dr. Take Naseri earlier this week.
The Director General told the media at a press conference on Monday 25th November that an investigation had been launched into the clinic for the administration of measles vaccines without an agreement with the Ministry (MoH).
At the time Leausa had stated that 6,000 vaccines had been seized from the clinic and destroyed because of storage issues. However 24 hours later, a correction was sent out by the Government Press Secretariat that the number of vaccine doses seized and discarded was 60 and not 6000.
The press statemen says “The Director General of Health, Leausa Dr. Take Naseri made a slip of tongue at a press conference yesterday and was only informed late last night by staff that the vaccination doses seized include 6 viles with ten doses each.”
Leausa also told the media the clinic was operated by two registered nurses and a mid-wife, all former health care workers with the former NHS National Health Services.
He added that, “The investigation will look into the circumstances surrounding the clinics services and operations without authorisation and the procurement of the vaccines amongst other issues.”
The owners and operators of Agape Clinic June Scanlan Lui, Latama Asovale Peteru and Alamoeaia Taaseu are adamant to set the record straight.
With over 90 years of combined experience between them, the registered nurses have assured the public as well as their clients that contrary to comments by the Director General of Health, their doors are still very much open for service.
“We have not been shut down for failure to meet any requirements relating to the provision of professional nursing services.”
The owners of Agape Jal clarify that they are legally registered as a private practice and had been providing vaccinations in accordance with standards and protocols of both the Ministry of Health and UNICEF.
“Our clinic met and will continue to meet the universal standards and protocols for storage and administering vaccinations”.
“We are qualified to practice our profession in the public or private sectors under the Laws of Samoa.
“With respect to providing vaccinations this is one of the basic duties that a Registered Nurse in Samoa can administer and this is a professional nursing service that is internationally recognised,”
The statement clarifies the issue of charging for vaccinations, a practice that has been condoned by the Ministry of Health.
“We wish to correct the misinformation that we had charged our clients for the vaccination. We are a private clinic and like any other medical and nursing service operating privately, we do charge a consultation fee which in our case is $30 tala for any clients that come in for consultation, whether it be related to vaccinations or other nursing midwifery services we offer.”
“The vaccination is provided for free.”
“Finally we would like to assure the public that our clinic has not stolen any vaccines – any and all vaccines administered by our clinic were issued by the Ministry of Health starting from the week of the 13th of October 2019 to assist with containing the measles outbreak.”
“We look forward to providing services to the public who need them and choose to obtain them from our clinic.”