Samoa vendor back selling on the streets after measles crisis

The measles epidemic, which hit Samoa late last year was one of the most difficult periods for street vendor John Tusani.

The 28-year-old father saw a huge decline in his earnings as people stayed away from public gatherings and from town.

Mr. Tusani who has been selling his wares on the streets for the past 10 years said he used to make about $100 tala a week.

However, during the measles crisis, things changed.

“I’ve witnessed that the town was unusually lacking people and not only were they not around much, I think they’re also kind of scared to speak with me or any of the vendors because of the measles,”Mr Tusani said.

“It was one of the most difficult times of our lives and we struggled our way to this time where measles is slowly escaping our lands.”

The measles epidemic claimed the lives of 83 people mainly children.

Mr. Tusani did not complete college due to financial constraints.

He tried working at supermarkets but felt that he did not earn enough money.

“After that I tried vending and realized that it was actually nice, free and I can earn more from there instead of the people in the supermarkets and companies who treated me differently because I had no educational background,” he said.

Mr. Tusani said his income from sales have started to return to normal.

He is however thankful to health workers who moved around.

“Without them, measles wouldn’t have started to fade from Samoa so I thank them for their work despite the rumours about them,” he said.


Photo supplied by Talaia Mika Caption John Tusani selling snacks 


Talaia Mika