70 Hawaiian medical staff help Samoa vaccination campaign

Seventy Hawaiian healthcare professionals have arrived in Samoa to help with the two-day mass immunisation campaign.

 A team of 55 nurses and 15 doctors will help to administer the measles vaccine and help tend to those already infected.

 The delegation is being led by Hawaii’s Lieutenant-Governor Josh Green, a doctor with a background in emergency room medicine.

 Last week the United States provided hundreds of thousands of dollars of USAID funding for immediate assistance.

 USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance and the World Health Organisation are helping to coordinate the international teams supporting Samoa’s measles response.

 Their work includes providing local authorities with personal protective equipment and medical supplies – such as hand sanitizer, gowns, masks, gloves, eye protection, and patient separators – to prevent and control the spread of measles infections.

 They'll also train Samoans in psychological first aid to help grieving families and communities who have lost loved ones or been impacted by the outbreak.

 The US Ambassador to Samoa, Ambassador Scott Brown reiterated that the vaccine is safe and effective.

 “You can save lives today. If you have unvaccinated folks in your household, please tie a piece of red cloth outside so that the doctors and nurses can easily identify the homes needing most assistance.”