Samoa

Sydney health authorities urge caution after man returns from Samoa with measles

The St George and Sutherland Shire Leader reports the warning comes after a man was diagnosed with the infectious disease on his return from Samoa.

South Eastern Sydney Local Health District (SESLHD) is also urging residents to ensure they are vaccinated against measles before travelling within the South Pacific region, where there is currently a widespread measles outbreak.

Samoa Government issues new orders of State of Emergency

The requirements are effective immediately.

The compulsory vaccination programme will continue until the prioritized target age groups are completed.

These age groups are all persons aged 6-months to 19-years-old and non-pregnant females aged 20 to 35-years.

The older age groups will also be vaccinated, once the prioritised vulnerable target age groups, are completed.

There is also a travel restriction.

No child under the age of 19 can travel between Upolu and Savaii, until further notice.

Samoa open for business despite measles epidemic - Tourism group

The tourism authority had taken measures to help prevent the spread of the virus, including cancelling all activities that required people to congregate, said Pativaine Petaia-Tevita.

The Tatau Festival parade was cancelled this morning on the waterfront. However, the exhibition and concert would go ahead over the next few days.

Visitors should make sure their measles vaccinations were up-to-date before arriving, while those already in the country and unsure of their vaccination status could visit a local clinic, she said.

Vaccine refusals drive measles emergency in Samoa

A global resurgence in vaccine-preventable measles has spread to parts of the Pacific Islands over the last month: Samoa has counted more than 1,000 suspected cases, which include the deaths of 14 children. Tonga and Fiji have also declared outbreaks in recent weeks.

“The way it is going now and the poor [immunisation] coverage, we are anticipating the worst to come,” Leausa Take Naseri, Samoa’s director general of health, said at a press conference announcing emergency measures.

Samoa National Measles Immunization Campaign to continue

Under the campaign, all Samoans aged between 6-months and 19-years and women aged from 20 to 35-years except if they are pregnant are to get vaccinated.

These groups are prioritized as unvaccinated young children are at highest risk of measles and its complications, including death.

To date, all babies and children who have tragically passed away have been unvaccinated.

Women aged 20 to 35 years, and who aren’t pregnant, are also prioritized for vaccination as they are most at risk of serious complications, including death, if they get measles whilst pregnant.

Recaptured prisoner in Samoa tells court of poor treatment

Aniseko Vaelei is being tried in relation to offences allegedly committed after he escaped.

But he has complained about the food in prison and a lack of access to showers, prompting the presiding judge, Justice Leiataualesa Darrel Clarke, to tell him he could file formal complaints with both police and prison authorities.

The inmate is currently serving a jail term on other criminal charges.

Samoa confirms 16 fatalities, over 1000 suspected measles cases

There were 114 cases recorded in 24 hours.

To date, 16 measles related deaths have been recorded with one fatality in the past 24 hours, a 7 month old from Savaii.

About 98% of measles cases are in Upolu, and notably concentrated in the Vaimauga West and Faleata West District with about 92% admission rates highest in children below the age of 5 years.

There are currently 189 measles cases who are in-patients at all health facilities.

Samoa rolls out compulsory mass measles vaccination campaign

The campaign has prioritized certain vulnerable age groups in Upolu and Savaii.

The Ministry is urging people in the prioritized age groups who are at high risk, to be vaccinated.

These include all children aged 6 months - 19 years and non-pregnant females only aged 20 to 35 years.

The Measles Vaccination Programme will be available at these health facilities at the designated dates and time slots:

Upolu

Samoa measles outbreak claims lives of 15 children

The Samoa Observer says two independent sources have confirmed that 15 children and one adult died from measles-related complications in either the intensive care unit or the emergency department of the hospital.

The figure given by the National Emergency Coordination Centre is 15 measles-related deaths.

Two of the latest deaths were prematurely born babies, one to a mother who had the clinical symptoms of measles.

Samoa activates National Emergency Operation Centre for measles outbreak

The NEOC has been set up as required by the National Disaster Management Plan (NDMP) under the National Disaster and Emergency Act 2007.

The Government said the NEOC will be responsible for planning, operations, logistics, community welfare and public information management safety and legal section.

Before the Proclamation of Emergency, the Ministry of Health (MOH) activated its Emergency Operation Centre at Motootua on 11 November 2019 to coordinate efforts on mitigating the spread of the Measles Outbreak.