British High Commission Supports Elderley Care Training for Savaii amindst COVID-19

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The British High Commission in Apia funded a three-day Training of Carers in Savaii this week, facilitated by the School of Nursing at the National University of Samoa.

The program was conducted in Asau, Safotu and Iva, on the Big Island of Savaii. Up to 23 community participants and nurses were trained with skills to look after the elderly and persons with physical disabilities who require long term care within the home.

The training was facilitated and provided by lecturers from the School of Nursing, focusing on first aid, safe lifting and movement, hygiene and general care to provide practical skill development for home based carers.

The workshop style approach used both verbal presentations and practical activities participants.

The Project Coordinator and Faculty Member of the National University of Samoa Ramona Boodoosingh said caring for the elderley and persons with disability is an essential role being carried by family members in the community.

“A significant amount of long-term care for persons with complex support needs is delivered within the home;

“The School of Nursing is grateful to the British High Commission for supporting us to deliver a community capacity building opportunity for our rural carers to give them a basic guide to assist in their carer responsibilities and improve the quality of life for persons who require long term home based care.”

Each training included a presentation from Nuanua O Le Alofa on providing rights-based care for persons with disabilities and ensuring the provision of accessible and inclusive communication methods to address the diverse accessibility needs of persons with disabilities.

“It has been a wonderful opportunity to connect with carers of persons with disabilities in Savaii and support the provision of rights-based care for our persons with disabilities who have complex support needs.” said Mata’afa Fa’atino Utumapu, the General Manager for Nuanua O Le Alofa.

As Samoa continues its preparedness and preventions efforts against the global pandemic COVID-19, this program seeks to support the provision of quality community-based care that assists in preventing long-term chronic health conditions from developing into serious complications that require hospitalization.

British High Commissioner, David Ward, said “I am delighted that in this difficult time of COVID-19, the British High Commission has been able to make a small contribution to Samoa’s public health capability through this training of carers, which I hope will make a lasting difference.”

The three Savaii trainings are a part of a larger effort led by the School of Nursing to build the capacity, confidence and ability of home based carers to provide essential support for persons living with complex mobility and self-care support needs.