October 6, 2023

New lab set to accelerate the early diagnosis of health conditions in Samoa

DNA and cancer testing will now be made possible in Samoa through the new Samoa Diagnostic Medical Laboratory at the Samoa Family Health Association (SFHA) office in Motootua.

This state-of-the-art laboratory is equipped with advanced technology that for the first time will enable critical tests to be undertaken right here in the country.

The Samoa Diagnostic Medical Laboratory is a fully functional diagnostic laboratory that was supported in partnership with the Pacific Laboratory Specialists, Samoa Family Health Association, and the International Planned Parenthood Federation Sub-Regional Office for the Pacific and the Australian Government through the Business Partnerships Platform (BPP) program.

The Lead Lab Technician, Josese Mailulu said this was a great milestone for Samoa.

“Today is a great achievement for the people of Samoa. One of the labs strengths is providing a screening for cancer especially for cervical cancer for women. With this test, the turnaround time is quicker,” he said.

“We are also looking for support from donor partners where we can go and screen the population in Samoa to see what is the standard for cancer.

“Our objective is to save lives through early intervention which is the only solution we see for now. Treatment is very expensive, whereas we can do the screening and with early intervention we can get them treated very early and save their lives.”

This will allow responsive and timely diagnoses, significantly reducing the turnaround time from six weeks to just around four days.

Soraya McGinley, Third Secretary Development from the Australian High Commission said this partnership aims to bring quality and affordable healthcare to women and under-served communities in Samoa .

She said the provisions of timely screening, early diagnosis, treatment referral, and effective follow-up were key to reducing preventable deaths associated with sexual and reproductive health conditions.

“Being the leading sexual and reproductive health rights provider in the country, SFHA delivers family planning and reproductive health services in Upolu and Savaii. Their mobile clinics provide essential services in Samoa’s rural communities ensuring access to quality healthcare for women, youth, and all in need,” she said.

“As a member of the International Planned Parenthood Federation, SFHA works together with the global healthcare provider to empower communities and ensure their provision of services are accessible to the most marginalised groups.

“Australia has and continues to support SFHA through our bilateral and regional programming to support the delivery of quality and accessible sexual reproductive health and family planning services.”

Source: Samoa Observer

Find out more about this partnership here.


Pacific Laboratory Specialists

Pacific Laboratory Specialists (PLS) is a provider of pathology and general medical diagnostic services to medical facilities in Fiji and the Pacific. PLS is a trusted provider of choice to some of the Pacific’s leading public and private hospital groups that perform a comprehensive range of services for doctors, patients and corporate clients.

Samoa Family Health Association

Samoa Family Health Association (SFHA) is a leading non-government provider of sexual and reproductive health services in Samoa. SFHA provides SRH services through clinics and outreach services to up to 850 clients per month with a majority female client base and established access and service provision to remote and underserved populations.

International Planned Parenthood Federation Sub-Regional Office for the Pacific

International Planned Parenthood Federation Sub-Regional Office for the Pacific (IPPF SROP) is a non-government organization working towards meeting the sexual and reproductive health and rights needs in the communities it serves and have achieved a powerful and transformative impact towards improving the health and wellbeing of those they reach.

Australian Government

The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade works with international partners and other countries to tackle global challenges, increase trade and investment opportunities, protect international rules, keep our region stable and help Australians overseas.


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