Governor-General visits Samoa Family Health Association

His Excellency General, the Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Retd), and Her Excellency Mrs. Linda Hurley, were pleased to meet the team at the Samoa Family Health Association (SFHA) as well as tour the soon-to-be launched diagnostic pathology lab based at SFHA.
The Governor-General and Mrs. Hurley were privileged to engage with health practitioners and volunteers at SFHA to learn more about their meaningful work.
This included meeting with SFHA’s Executive Director Lealaiauloto Lia’i Si’itia, board member and church representative Reverend Asalele Lefauaitu, and youth champion Gutu Fa’asau.
The Governor-General and Mrs. Hurley also toured the soon-to-be-launched Samoa Diagnostic Medical Laboratory based at SFHA, which will provide essential testing services to support SFHA’s important work. This includes providing early diagnosis of sexual and reproductive health conditions such as cervical cancers.
The laboratory was made possible by a partnership between SFHA, Pacific Laboratory Specialists (PLS), the International Planned Parenthood Federation Sub-Regional Office of the Pacific (IPPF SROP) and the Australian Government through the Business Partnerships Platform. This will be the first private lab of its kind and will enable tests to be undertaken in Samoa, reducing the turnaround time from 4 – 6 weeks to 3 – 4 days.
The Governor-General said: “It is truly a pleasure for Linda and I to meet the remarkable team at SFHA and to witness first-hand the strong partnership with Australia.
“I was especially honoured to meet today with representatives from the youth and church, critical voices for family health.
“Australia is committed to working together with local organisations and key stakeholders in Samoa and across the region to support healthcare initiatives that lifts communities, particularly women and girls, to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to thrive.”
SFHA Executive Director Lealaiauloto Lia’i Si’itia said: “It’s a real honour for me and the team to welcome their Excellencies the Governor-General and Mrs. Hurley to SFHA, and to share with them some of the work we do in our communities with Australia’s support, including through our mobile clinics. We are particularly excited about the new pathology lab which will ensure responsive and timely diagnoses and treatment of diseases.”
Background Information
The Samoa Family Health Association (SFHA) is a non-profit organisation and the leading provider of sexual and reproductive health rights services in Samoa. SFHA delivers family planning and reproductive health services through three static (two in Upolu and one in Savaii) and two mobile units (one in both islands) which visit rural areas and other outer islands to provide sexual and reproductive health services and outreach programs.
Australia provides support to SFHA through our ‘Tautua – Human Development All’ partnership with the Government of Samoa, as well as through funding from the Transformative Agenda for Women, Adolescents and Youth in the Pacific which is coordinated by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).
The Samoa Diagnostic Medical Laboratory (SDML) is dedicated to providing diagnostic services for timely screening, early diagnosis, and treatment to the population of Samoa. Once launched it will be a fully functional laboratory equipped with advanced technology and infrastructure that has been established to achieve this objective.
The laboratory includes essential equipment such as a fully automatic Liquid-Based Cytology machine, DNA Extractor/HPV analyzer, Urine analyzer, IVD diagnostic Machine, Biochemistry analyzer, Auto Hematology Analyzer, Serology kits, water distiller, Slide Storage Cabinet, Digital imaging Microscopes, Biological Safety Cabinet, server, and IT infrastructure.
The establishment of this state-of-the-art facility empowers SDML to offer a comprehensive range of diagnostic capabilities, including:
1. Liquid-based Cytology tests: These tests play a crucial role in capturing abnormal cells associated with birth defects and cervical cancer, enabling early detection and intervention.
2. Human Papillomavirus (HPV) test: SDML will provide cervical cancer screening through HPV testing, aiding in the identification of this prevalent and potentially life-threatening condition.
3. In Vitro Diagnostic (IVD) tests: SDML conducts a wide array of IVD tests to diagnose various conditions such as Sepsis, Thrombosis, Heart Failure, Myocardial Infarction, Liver Cancer, Prostate Cancer, Tumor Markers, Diabetes Mellitus, Renal Injury, Proximal Renal Tubule Dysfunction, Fertility, Thyroid Malfunction, and COVID-19.
4. Biochemistry tests: SDML will offer comprehensive biochemistry tests to assess the functioning of vital organs including the kidneys, liver, lipids, and pancreas.
5. Hematology tests: SDML will perform haematological tests to determine parameters such as Red Blood Cell (RBC) count, White Blood Cell (WBC) count, hemoglobin level, platelet count, and additional indicators like RBC distribution width, Mean Corpuscular Volume, Mean Corpuscular Hemoglobin, Mean Corpuscular Hemoglobin Concentration, WBC differential count (both in percentage and absolute value), Platelet Distribution Width, Platelet Mean Volume, Large Platelet Cell Ratio, and Platelet criteria.
6. Serology Tests: SDML will also offer serological tests to detect various cancers, including Prostate, Ovary, Colon, Lungs, Thyroid, and Liver. Additionally, SDML will provide tests for infectious diseases such as Chlamydia, Gonorrhoea, HIV, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, Hepatitis A, and Syphilis. By leveraging these advanced diagnostic capabilities, the SDML aims to ensure efficient screening, early diagnosis, and appropriate treatment for the population of Samoa, ultimately contributing to improved health outcomes.