Measles Outbreak Affects Manu Samoa Sevens Squad

"We are grateful for all the prayers"

The players are behind their team mate who has had to return home. PC: SRU

The Manu Samoa Sevens squad have been affected by the measles outbreak with Laaloi Leilua having to return to Samoa to be with his 4 week old baby girl who has contracted the measles virus.

Sir Gordon Tietchens announced the squad changes on the Manu Samoa Sevens Facebook Page last night.

“Laaloi has had to go back and deal with some urgent matters in Samoa.”

The Manu Samoa 7s squad had just arrived in Dubai when Leilua received the sad news that his daughter had been admitted to Isolation 2 at Motootua National Hospital.

Sir Gordon Tietchens announces changes to the team.

Sir Gordon Tietchens said, “the team are feeling for Laaloi at the moment”.

“We wish him and his family very very well,” said the Manu Samoa Sevens Head Coach.

Leilua, who has managed to work himself back into Sir Gordon Tietjen’s squad after being absent for several tournaments said the Samoa Rugby Union, coach and team mates have been very supportive about his having to return to Samoa today.

Sevens Team Mates send Laaloi Leilua well wishes for his return home.

Samoa Global News spoke to Leilua while he was in transit via Auckland. Leilua remained strong in his faith and says he had received positive news of baby’s condition.

“Lea ua maua le tala ua iai le suiga. Faafetai lava mo talosaga.”

“I have had news that there is improvement. Thank you for your prayers”.

“We pray for all the families affected by the measles, may God protect the people of Samoa at this time”, he added.

Laaloi’s partner Pemita Talosaga says they have had a long but positive day, with signs towards recovery as her baby girl fights the virus.

“We are in Isolation 2 and her rash is nearly gone. Shes a fighter 😭,”

Pemita says their daughter could possibly be the youngest baby recorded with the measles virus.

“She is only 4 weeks and will be one month old this week on the 3rd of December.”

“We are grateful for Loi’s team and their prayers, and everyone who came to visit her with their prayers, and all our families out there who have called and texted with good wishes for baby’s speedy recovery.”

“Not forgetting the hard work of the doctors and nurses who helped my baby quickly get over the illness. Their hard work should never go unnoticed,” she added.

Laaloi Leilua arrives back into Samoa this evening (Sunday night).

As an integral part of the Samoa Sevens squad for the HSBC World Series over the past 3 years, his departure will be felt by the squad.

Laaloi Leilua returns from Dubai to be with his baby girl.

Paul Toilolo who had taken a humble cut to make way for Kelvin Masoe is now back on the squad and will arrive in Dubai in the next 24 hours.

Samoa’s low immunisation coverage has contributed to its stuggle to contain the measles outbreak which has claimed over 44 lives to date.

A State of Emergency proclamation was declared 3 weeks ago with Orders for a Mass Vaccination Campaign.

The public is informed to call the National Emergemcy Operations Centre on toll free No – 997 for any help you may need.

Brian Telefoni