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Tuila’epa in NZ for treatment

Days after being airlifted by the New Zealand Government for medical treatment in Auckland, aides of Samoa’s Prime Minister Tuila’epa Lupesoli’ai Sa’ilele Malielegaoi (pictured) were still playing down the extent of his illness. Acting Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry of the Prime Minister Leilua Tavis Leota says the Prime Minister’s condition “wasn’t serious” but his evacuation to New Zealand was “necessary for further treatment.” In Parliament, Leader of Opposition, Palusalue Fa’apo II accused Deputy Prime Minister, Fonotoe Pierre Lauofo for being too secretive about Tuilae’pa’s evacuation to New Zealand. “Why hasn’t there been any word about the Prime Minister’s condition,” Palusalue asked. Acting CEO in the Ministry of the PM provided the same answer. He said the PM was not in a serious condition but his treatment in New Zealand was necessary. Tuilae’pa himself had told the local media however that he had stood on a nail but didn’t think much of it. He gave an interview on government radio 2AP before he departed for Auckland as part of his weekly radio programme. He described the wound as a mere bruise.

Other media reports however say the ‘mere bruise’ on the PM’s leg got infected and by ignoring the infection, the wound had gone septic. This explained the very high fever Tuilae’pa developed while attending Parliament. He was seen leaving Parliament House later wrapped in a blanket, headed straight to the main hospital and was admitted in the hospital’s Intensive Care Unit. Why the Ministry of Health, or the Office of the Prime Minister is not revealing much about the true state of Tuila’epa’s medical condition is anyone’s guess. The PM did tell the media last month however that he was told by the doctors during a general medical check that his heart was strong and was given an excellent bill of health. His wife Gillian, his CEO Vaosa Epa and Head of Foreign Affairs Division Aiono Mose Sua are with him in Auckland.

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