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Samoa measles epidemic 'help list' forwarded to NZ

Photo of MMR vaccine and needle
Source: Newsline Samoa

Apia, SAMOA — Vaccines and storage coolers necessary to keep the medicine properly stored for injections against the measles virus, tops the help list from the Ministry of Health to their New Zealand counterpart.

“The list is already sent,” Ministry CEO Leausa Dr. Take Naseri confirmed last week.

The New Zealand Government announced earlier that they are on standby to help Samoa and Tonga, with the measles epidemic.

The number of suspected cases in Samoa is already up to more than 300 as of the last updated report from the Health Ministry last week.

Three people have died so far, highly suspected as severe cases of the measles, two were children and one a 35 year old male.

The vaccines and coolers are urgently needed to cope with the burst in public demand for vaccination since the outbreak now into it’s third week, according to CEO Leausa.

A Newsline Samoa report during the week from the Malietoa Hospital at Tuasivi, Savai’i, said large crowds of mainly mothers are bringing their children in for vaccination.

Grownups are being made to wait their turn while the priority is given to the children first, as the most vulnerable to the measles virus.

The help list from Samoa is being scheduled in phases depending on the extent of the epidemic spread.

“ We’re looking at hospital beds, a mobile lab and experienced vaccinators to come over and carry out refresher courses to up skill our nursing staff with any new procedures,” CEO Leausa expanded.

“We’ve already had similar health support this year with New Zealand nurses helping provide hands on training for our local staff.”

New Zealand political opposition is putting pressure on the ruling Labour party to support to the islands, affected by the measles outbreak brought over from New Zealand.

Read more at Newsline Samoa