The Auckland Regional Public Health Service couldn’t have handled the typhoid outbreak in the Auckland Pasifika community any more poorly if they’d tried.
It beggars belief that the family and friends of a woman with typhoid was not told she had the disease.
That she was lying in hospital being kissed and hugged by family and friends – and none of them knew she had typhoid. How is this even possible?
According to family sources two of the woman’s children went on to contract it, no huge surprises there.
Why has the Auckland Regional Public Health Service (ARPHS) kept this such a big secret?
The release of information has been carefully orchestrated since the first public release late Friday afternoon, three days after the woman died.
No mention was made of Pasifika, although 1 NEWS already had this information through other sources, and the hospitals and District Health Boards were all ordered by the ARPHS not to speak to media.
The woman's funeral was held yesterday in Mt Roskill but details were only released this morning.
Source: 1 NEWS
The ARPHS was not available to media over the weekend and information going to the church community and people affected has been equally controlled and limited.
Given some of this community speak English as a second language, and some not at all, many of them feel railroaded through this shameful process.
Cultural issues have been completely ignored. Affectionate greetings, sharing of food and big groups coming together are all hallmarks of Pasifika.
How many infected people were at the funeral on Monday and involved in the preparation of food? How many people flew over from Samoa for the funeral and have returned home possibly infected?
Given today the church minister himself is being tested after feeling unwell, it’s completely possible.
The name of the church wasn’t released until yesterday and there is also some confusion over that so many people who have mingled with those who are possibly infected have no idea they are at risk.
It’s hard to imagine this happening with a Remuera church, if a member of their congregation had come back from a holiday in the islands after contracting the disease there.
The handling of this matter smacks of high-handed arrogant colonial treatment of a community that deserves better.