Measles epidemic: Samoa's govt mobilises resources

Samoa's Ministry of Health is consolidating its resources to better deal with the current measles epidemic, following three deaths that are highly suspected to be from measles.

Samoa's government declared a measles epidemic in mid-October.

Two young children and a man, 37, have died, after clinical signs indicated they had measles.

Ministry chief executive Leausa Dr Take Naseri said a number of clinics had been closed to focus resources around the epidemic.

"We have modified our operations. We have closed down most of our general outpatient clinics so that we can mobilise - so staff can focus more on the alarming rates of the public that is coming in."

He was concerned about the outbreak and parents were encouraged to get their children protected via vaccination, Leausa said.

"They have to get the children vaccinated. We have to improve our coverage, get everybody vaccinated," he said.

"If you are unsure, it is better to get vaccinated, especially the children. Fifty [years old] and up, I know most of the people, that was the time when the coverage of vaccinations in Samoa was very good."