Family Reaction Guarded As New Twists Unfold In Babies Deaths

About the author:

Mataeliga Pio Sioa, Newsline Samoa newspaper editor. A veteran journalist in broadcast and print media.

  •   Muriel Lui standing in for her law partner Mauga Precious Chang outside the court room where the inquest hearing was again adjourned to allow the police to finalise their report.
      Muriel Lui standing in for her law partner Mauga Precious Chang outside the court room where the inquest hearing was again adjourned to allow the police to finalise their report.

 

 

By Mataeliga Pio Sioa/Tina Mata’afa-Tufele

 

 

 

Families of the two baby toddlers, who died from vaccination injections for one year olds, are keeping careful watch on the outcome of medical and criminal investigations, as new twists slowly unfolds.

 But family lawyer, Mauga Precious Chang, is not ready to make any public comments yet on behalf of her clients, without any formal findings to go on at this point.

“ Nothing official has been made available yet, like the pathologist report or other medical findings, so it is difficult to make any comment yet,” Ms. Chang reacted to Newsline enquiry.

A court inquest is yet to get underway after a scheduled hearing this week, was adjourned for the second time, to await the police reports.

The investigation took on an added twist mid-way through this week on Wednesday, with the confirmed arrest of a nurse who allegedly administered the injections.

Ms. Chang confirmed that she is aware of the arrest but would prefer not to make any reaction.

“ Again I cannot comment on that at this stage on behalf of my clients,” she added, wary that it is early stages yet in the legal process.

The inquest into the deaths of two babies has been re-set by the court for hearing next month on 12 September 2018.

The delay allows ample time for the Ministry of Police to finalise a post-mortem report for presentation in court.

Punipuao Si’u of Safotu and Marieta Samuelu of Sasina, the mothers of the two babies, were joined by family members at the proceeding in Mulinu’u on Wednesday.

The babies, Lameko Opa, a boy, and Lannahcallystah Samuelu, a girl, were both in their first years. 

They died within minutes of receiving the Measles Mumps Rubella (MMR) vaccination at the Safotu hospital in early July.

The matter was called before the District Court Wednesday, 8 August. Presiding was Judge Fepulea’i Ameperosa Roma.

Representing the families of babies Lameko and Lannahcallystah is Mauga Precious Chang. Attorney Muriel Liu appeared in Chang’s stead on Wednesday.

The vaccination related death has already received global attention, as the immunisation vaccines are administered worldwide for children and have always been determined safe.

The World Health Organisation and the UN Children’s’ Agency UNICEF, were involved at the outset of the investigations by providing technical support.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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