Samoa Government to shut down amid measles epidemic

The Government of Samoa will shut down for two days so that officials can help combat the measles epidemic.

In a national address, Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi said the public service and all government services will be closed from Thursday 5th-6th December in order to allow all public servants to assist with the mass vaccination campaign throughout the country except for the utilities (Water and Electricity).

“The Government continues to emphasize through all forms of the media the importance of prevention and protection of our children. It is critical that we stand together on ways to address the crisis. The Government needs the support of all village councils, faith-based organisations and church leaders, Village mayors and Government women representatives and all organisations engaged in outreach programmes.”

“Let us work together to encourage and convince those that do not believe that vaccinations are the only answer to the epidemic. Let us not be distracted by the promise of alternative cures,” PM Tuilaepa said.

He also acknowledged with gratitude all the support that has come from the international community and national stakeholders particularly through human resources, vaccines, medical supplies and equipment, technical expertise and financial contributions to assist our tired but willing local health workers.

“Since the declaration of the state of emergency, we have received medical teams from Australia, New Zealand and NZ Red Cross, France, United Kingdom. Pacific Medical Association, Secretariat of the Pacific Community, China, Norway, Japan, United Nations and the United States. More are on their way. We are also receiving logistical support from American Samoa and our community of Non Governmental Organisations such as ADRA, Red Cross, Caritas, Church Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints, communities, individuals and private sector.”

“The answer to our prayers is with us through the services of the doctors and nurses and all health personnel. I would again call on everyone’s cooperation to protect our children; seek medical care for sick children early, ensure family members especially children are vaccinated and maintain good hygiene standards in all environments,” PM Tuilaepa said.

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