Tagata Pasifika

The Pacific voice on
New Zealand television

since 1987

Miss Samoa/Miss Pacific Islands using her nursing skills to help in the Covid-19 pandemic

With countries in lockdown due to Covid-19 and strict travel restrictions in place across the Pacific, the reigning Miss Samoa and Miss Pacific Islands, Fonoifafo McFarland-Seumanu, has confirmed that she will continue her reign for a second term. This is the first time in the history of both pageants for this to occur.

Renee Kahukura Iosefa caught up with Miss Samoa, who is utilizing her nursing skills to help where the need is great.

Amid the global pandemic, Fonoifafo has been helping medical personnel to process residents returning to Samoa on repatriation flights from New Zealand.

The registered nurse is familiar with helping to make a difference where it matters most. During Samoa’s measles epidemic, she worked alongside the country’s Ministry of Health to deliver vaccinations and implement community health awareness programmes.

She says the epidemic has been her most memorable moment as Miss Samoa and Miss Pacific Islands to date.

“It was seeing our people come together, band together in a time of crisis. I saw first hand all our government agencies and just everyone, even the public, they’d exhausted all their resources and energy into trying to prevent the measles from further spreading out in our country.”

Not only a nurse and pageant queen, Fonoifafo became a full-time caregiver to five children at the age of 22.

“They’re my niece and nephews. They were placed under my care by the [New Zealand] Government. I had just turned 22 and I said, ‘I’ll do it. I’ll come pick them up.'”

“I remember when I turned up they were like, ‘Did you come with someone?'”

“I think for me it helped me mature a lot quicker than I thought.”

Watch Miss Samoa’s full story above.

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