New Zealand to Help Samoa with Measles Outbreak


Sarah Peddie

New Zealand is set to send more medical staff and supplies to Samoa to try and help tackle the measles epidemic happening on the South Pacific island nation. 

The Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters announced that the country would send over medical staff and health supplies which includes 100,000 vaccinations.

So far, over 50 people have died from the outbreak of the virus. Schools have been closed down and there is restricted travel ahead of the Christmas holiday season.

When the virus first broke out in Samoa, it has been discovered that there was not enough vaccine coverage within the nation which explains why there is such a flare-up of the infection.

Over 3000 people have contracted the disease and this has prompted a mass vaccination campaign.

Within the medical team being sent over, there will be around 15 intensive care specialist, as well as Samoan speaking doctors and nurses. 

New Zealand will also provide psychological support for the health workers in Samoa. 

One of Samoa’s top health officials have predicted that the worst of the virus is yet to come.

The Director General of Health, Leausa Dr Take Naseri said that more children needed to be reached in the height of the epidemic. 

It was also announced that the Samoan Government will shut its doors on Thursday and Friday to help deal with the crisis. 

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