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Medical Mission open to all — begins in Laulii tomorrow

The USA/American Samoa Medical Mission will be hosting two days of free medical clinics tomorrow and Thursday for people of all ages and denominations.


Suafaasisina Mulitauaopele Peko told Samoa News yesterday morning that her brother Vaifanua Mulitauaopele is leading a delegation of 37 that includes medical professionals from across the United States and will touch down in the territory today.


The first clinic will be held in Laulii at the Mulitauaopele residence tomorrow from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The second and final clinic will be held on Thursday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Antioch Church in Ili'ili.


Peko emphasized that the clinics, as well as the medications that will be handed out, are all free of charge. "Everyone is invited to take advantage of these free clinics. The invitation is extended to everyone of different ages, different ethnic backgrounds, and different religious affiliations. Anyone can come."


Peko made it clear that the Medical Mission is not affiliated with one specific religion or church.


The free medical clinics have been an ongoing annual event in the territory since 1999 and different churches used to play host. But for the past three years, the Pekos have hosted the group at their Laulii home. The delegation includes general practitioners, an eye specialist, and doctors that specialize in different areas. This is the first year that dental services will not be offered.


All the medical professionals who will be conducting the clinics are strictly on a volunteer basis and not being compensated for their services. "They are coming to serve the people here as well as neighboring Samoa and Savaii," Peko said.


The group will be arriving today from Samoa where they held two days of free clinics. Prior to that, the group also held two days of free clinics in Savaii and the Pekos were there last week to volunteer and help.


A total of five different booths to screen, diagnose and treat different illnesses, in addition to the eye care services, will be open to serve those who attend either one of the two clinics.


A small pharmacy will be set up to issue free medication according to the prescriptions that will be written out for the patients. Peko said after patients are screened, diagnosed, and issued their medication, there would be a special prayer offered for them.


"You will come out a brand new person, physically and spiritually," Peko added.


Everyone from young children to the elderly is encouraged to take part in the free clinics. "This is a good opportunity for those who cannot afford to pay hospital fees and medications," Peko said. She recalled how last week's clinics in Savaii revealed that many people stricken with diseases like diabetes and hypertension are not following through with their scheduled hospital appointments and not taking their medication, because they just cannot afford it.


"This is a great opportunity to receive free screening and medication. Our people really should take advantage of it," Peko concluded.


More information on the clinics can be obtained by contacting Suafaasisina or her husband Rev. Alataua Peko at 644-4200 or 733-8043.