Country Information

Samoa has a population of 195,000 (WHO,2016) . Life expectancy at birth is 78 for females and 72 for males (WHO,2016), and the infant mortality rate is 16 per 1000 live births (WHO,2018). Health status is generally quite good in Samoa, although non communicable diseases are increasing rapidly and along with injuries, due to traffic accidents, domestic violence, suicide and mental disorders, are now the leading cause of death.

Historically, limited tertiary care was provided by the local health sector with most tertiary services provided by New Zealand. However, local indications suggest referral to New Zealand is becoming increasingly difficult and there is a greater reliance and emphasis on the development of local tertiary health services. The Government of Samoa is now actively working to reform and strengthen the health sector.

Program Information

Interplast conducted its first program to Samoa in 1983 and programs have been delivered approximately annually since. From 1995, funding has primarily been provided via the DFAT Pacific Island Project (PIP) managed by the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS). The provision of cleft surgery remains a priority, especially for complex cases unable to be treated by the local surgeons.

Progress towards the development of local capacity to deliver plastic and reconstructive surgery services in Samoa has been strengthened in recent years by the involvement of the new generation of surgical registrars in Interplast programs both in Samoa and in Fiji. It is anticipated ongoing training and support will be required to develop these skills in the speciality area of plastic and reconstructive surgery. Interplast will continue to support the local surgeons and other medical staff with any training opportunities that may arise as well as providing other Samoan surgeons with training during Interplast visits to Apia while providing continued access to reconstructive surgery services for the people of Samoa. Interplast is also now working with local allied health providers, to develop local capacity in hand therapy and since 2017 has been delivering an annual nurse education programs predominatley in Tupua Tamasese Meaole Hospital in Apia.

Current Program

In the 2019/2020 financial year, Interplast will deliver a number of activities in Samoa, including a plastic and reconstructive surgical program, as well as nurse education and allied health training activities.

For more details, keep an eye on our Upcoming Programs, or get in touch with us!