Psychiatric nurse succumbs to injuries days after Hu‘atolitoli prison attack

A Tongan psychiatric nurse has succumbed to injuries sustained during an alleged attack by a mental health patient at a Hu’atolitoli prison ward.

Samiuela Mafi died today Sunday 16 after he was admitted to Vaiola hospital on Saturday 9, a relative has confirmed.

Militoni Tu’akalau said it’s sad after he found out that the deceased was a half brother of his children in Tonga.

He said his daughter had tearfully informed him about Mafi’s death over the phone.

News of Mafi’s death has triggered an outpouring of tributes on social media from his kāinga and friends.

“I love him to bits, I always will,” a commenter wrote on Facebook.

“He’ll never die in my heart.”

The incident comes in the wake of grave concerns about the country’s biggest prison’s severe overcrowding problem.

Reports said that inmates with psychiatric issues were transferred from the main clinic at Vaiola Hospital to the prison and dramatic increase in the prison population made it hard to control them.

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