As of 28 November, almost 300,000 vaccines and medical supplies have been delivered to reach those populations most at-risk in Samoa, Fiji, the Kingdom of Tonga, Vanuatu, Cook Islands, Nauru, Niue, Tokelau and Tuvalu.
UNICEF is responding to the outbreak together with the World Health Organisation (WHO) and other partners. UNICEF’s response is being conducted with the support of the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and New Zealand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT).
The Government of Samoa officially declared a state of emergency on 15 November 2019. UNICEF has delivered a total of 115,500 doses of measles vaccines to Samoa since 1 October, including the required diluent, syringes and safety boxes, as well as sufficient supplies of Vitamin A.
The national Measles Vaccination Campaign began on 20 November 2019 with mobile outreach vaccination sites and teams, and special vaccine booths.
Since the launch of the campaign, the Ministry of Health has successfully vaccinated more than 33,500 individuals in both Upolu and Savai’i.
UNICEF has delivered six 42 sqm tents, which will be used as vaccination sites or isolation wards for patients with measles. Six specially designed refrigerators and three emergency trolleys will also be provided to the Ministry of Health, to ensure the cold chain is maintained and vaccines are effective when given at vaccination sites.
UNICEF and WHO have jointly prepared a communication toolkit and resources to be used for measles prevention, which has been shared with all Pacific Island governments, including Samoa, Fiji and the Kingdom of Tonga. The toolkit is a regional resource, which countries can use and adapt to their country’s needs. It includes a range of communication products targeting three main audiences: travellers, general public and health workers.
Photo UNICEF Pacific 50,000 doses of vaccines arrive in Samoa over the weekend