Newly crowned Miss Pacific Island, Fonoifafo Nancy McFarland, will leave behind her beauty crown today for a nursing cap to battle the measles virus.
Fonoifafo steps out of her new found world of glamour to the harsh realties of the real life in her profession as a fully qualified registered nurse.
Her nursing skills as a vaccinator are badly needed to confront the measles epidemic through vaccination.
“Your Miss Samoa, Miss Pacific Island will be going into the field today to do what she loves doing as a practicing nurse, administrating vaccination injections,” the director of the Mania Events , Leiataualesa Jerry Brunt, announced yesterday.
Manaia Event is behind the Miss Samoa pageant and returned this week from Papua New Guinea where she won the regional beauty title.
“We just needed to make sure that her paper work was in place the local registration and everything so that’s why she was a bit late today, and she needed to get her id and all of that sorted out with the Ministry of Health.
“ Today she will be hitting the villages and the community together with the hardworking nurses that are already out.
“So the Miss Pacific Island and your Miss Samoa will be basically practicing nursing tomorrow.”
Leiataualesa said he hopes that the families who are affected with the measles will be somehow be uplifted during Fonoifafo’s visit.
“We hope that whichever villages that she’s going to, that the spirit of our community that are affected at this time will be in some way however small will be uplifted and give a smile to the kids, families that are affected,” he said.
“We got stuff to prepare for, for tomorrow’s outreach and max vaccination that starts tomorrow despite Thursday and Friday being declared a no work days but your Miss Samoa, Miss Pacific will be out tomorrow looking after our community.”
Speaking to the media Fonoifafo said the plan to practice as a nurse in Samoa has been her intention since she was here about 4 months.
“I will be joining the nurses and we will be going out to the villages and help vaccinate the populations that haven’t been vaccinated,” she said.
“That’s been the plan since but we were on hold because we needed to ensure that all my paper work were up to dates.
“I did leave New Zealand 4 months ago but we had process the paperwork before coming to Samoa to ensure that I was able to practice as a nurse here.
“I think the Miss Samoa and now the Miss Pacific Island platform would really help to push all the important part of being vaccinated so it works in our favor.”
Asked if she thinks she has come at the right time with her experience and knowledge during this sad time for Samoa Fonoifafo said yes.