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Minister Urges new Health Director to address health issues facing the country

By Lagi Keresoma

APIA, SAMOA -13 JANUARY 2023: The Minister for Health, Valasi Luapitofanua Tafito Selesele has urged the new Director General of Health, Aiono Dr Alec Ekeroma, to address any issues facing the Ministry and health system and not to sweep them under the mat.

“Aua le ufiufi i faaletonu ae faasoa ma fetufaai, “said the Minister.

Valasi said communication and sharing to resolve any issue is vital to the success of any work and urged the staff not to be afraid to communicate with the Director on any issues.

The Minister was speaking at the welcoming ceremony for their new Director General yesterday.

He reminded the Director General of two things as he took on the new role.

One is Aiono’s experience and skills as a doctor are unquestionable and that he is not new to leading a government ministry.

Aiono served as the former Vice Chancellor of the National University of Samoa before Cabinet appointed him as the new Director General of Health.

“The most rewarding gift is knowing that you have used your calling and have served well,” said Valasi.

The other reminder is the communicative relationship with the staff.

He then referred to a service rendered by Jesus to his disciples when he washed their feet.

“Even Jesus washed his disciples feet, a service no worldly king could do, he said.

He noted the packed room of health staff who attended the welcome ceremony and in a lighthearted note said, the room was not as packed when he was welcomed as the new Minister and took it as a symbol of support for the new Director.

“Put aside any bad feelings and come together to lend support to the Director and serve the country,” Valasi urged.


The Director General of Health, Aiono Dr. Alec Ekeroma.

He acknowledged those who applied and also the ministry for all the hard work and perseverance through challenging times.

“Welcome Aiono, o ou mama na” said the Minister.

In return, Aiono acknowledged the Ministers advise and to the staff, he said they need to show their commitment to their values of respect, integrity and commitment through service to the community and Government.

He highlighted collaboration, team work, faith and for the best interest of the ministry as the driving force for the success and smooth operation of their work.