5 Apr 2017

Church slams authorities for poor support around typhoid

From Morning Report, 7:46 am on 5 April 2017

A friend of the woman who died from typhoid a week ago says she and woman's family have been offered little advice or support by health authorities.

A file photo of a patient in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU)

Photo: 123RF

15 people are now confirmed to have been infected with the disease with the outbreak centered on a Samoan church.

The friend of a woman who died of typhoid last week says those who visited the dying woman in Auckland hospital were not told about the disease or told to take precautions when they saw her.

The dead woman's friend, who has been authorised to speak on her church's behalf by its pastor, says more support should have been offered to the congregation even before the woman died.

She told me the church members should have been given information days before the dead woman was admitted to hospital when three other church members became sick.

Labour MP, Su'a William Sio.

Labour MP, Su'a William Sio. Photo: parliament

But Labour MP and Pacific Island affairs spokesman Su'a William Sio says it is outrageous that the family and church community were not informed of typhoid case.

In a statement  Auckland Regional Public Health Service's general manager Jane McEntee said:

"We are very concerned to hear some family members don't feel sufficiently informed about the cause of this sad death.
The patient's husband and another family member were consulted on and consented to the content of our media release and its timing.
When an outbreak occurs we need to prioritise those people who have the greatest clinical need.  Our public health staff have interviewed members of the family and the church group most at risk, including providing public health advice, and this work is on-going.  
I want to acknowledge and thank the family and the church community for their assistance with this work over the past week.  
If anyone has concerns please talk with their doctor or contact Healthline on 0800 611 116."