Further support for Samoan measles outbreak

posted: 1:00 pm - 19th November 2019
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The New Zealand Government is continuing to support Samoa as it is hit by a measles epidemic.

 As the Government of Samoa responds to the measles outbreak, Foreign Affairs Minister Rt Hon. Winston Peters made an announcement saying New Zealand will deploy a further 18 vaccination nurses, bringing the total to 30 working in Samoa over the next four weeks.

A New Zealand Medical Assistance Team (NZMAT) of 10 doctors and nurses and support staff will deploy to Apia this week, Minister Peters adds.

“On November 15, the Government of Samoa declared a State of Emergency as the numbers of people infected with measles continues to rise and the hospital system is under strain.

“We fully support Samoa’s efforts to immunise its population, contain the outbreak, and treat patients who are ill,” he says.

The vaccination nurses will support Samoa’s immunisation programme, which is targeting the most at risk populations, while the medical assistance team will support Samoan health personnel, providing treatment and medical supplies in a district hospital on Upolu that is facing heavy demand due to the outbreak.

The extra support announced is in addition to the deployment of 12 vaccination nurses, vaccines and medical supplies New Zealand committed to Samoa earlier in November.

Measles is a highly contagious disease that can be life threatening.

Find out what the symptoms are and how immunisation can protect you and your family HERE.