31 Jan 2008

Australian church offer to help Samoa baby held up over request for scans

11:22 am on 31 January 2008

An Australian church offering to help a badly deformed Samoan baby get treatment says efforts have been frustrated by media seeking an exclusive story.

South Pacific Islands Community Christian Church in Adelaide says a Samoan television station has refused to hand over scans taken of the child to Australian doctors because they did not want to lose the story.

The claim has been rejected by the station.

Miracletina Nanai was born in a Samoan village about five months ago with severe facial deformities and doctors in Samoa deemed her incurable.

But the South Pacific Islands Community Christian Church offered to try to arrange for the little girl to go to Australia for treatment after she was rejected by New Zealand.

Now the church's John Blackmore said he understood a Samoan TV station was refusing to release medical reports taken of Miracle because it did not want to give up the chance of an exclusive story.

Managing director of TV Samoa, Taufau Gardenia Aukuso, confirmed her organisation had some medical reports of Baby Miracle, but said they could not be released without the parents' permission.