Measles epidemic

Samoan 'anti-vaxxer' out on bail

Edwin Tamasese has been charged with incitement against the government vaccination order last week after he allegedly published a post on social media against the mass vaccination drive.

He was arrested in Savaii and taken to Upolu on the weekend, where he had been kept in custody.

Judge Leota Raymond Schuster granted bail for Mr Tamasese, who was ordered not to comment, or publish or post anything on social media concerning measles.

The man, who is also a faith healer, was ordered not to hand out any medication to anyone.

World Bank commits support to fight Samoa measles outbreak

With the measles outbreak in Samoa having now killed 70 people – almost all of them children – and more than 4,600 confirmed measles cases, the Samoan Government will draw US$3.5 million from grant funds available under an agreed  Operation that gives the government access to emergency funding in the event of a significant national emergency. This funding will provide the government with additional resources to respond to the measles emergency.

Distraught parents taking kids with measles out of hospitals in Samoa

New Zealand Red Cross nurse Karen Page, who has been based in Apia assisting with the measles epidemic for the past two weeks, said she had heard reports of three families discharging their children in more than one location.

In some cases the families returned to hospital several days later when their children's health had seriously deteriorated, Ms Page said.

Measles outbreaks due to 'complacency': UNICEF

In Samoa, 70 people have died and there are more than 4000 confirmed cases of the disease.

In Fiji, the number of confirmed cases is rising.

Mass vaccination campaigns have been underway in both countries.

UNICEF's chief of immunisation, Robin Nandy, said he was "deeply concerned and disappointed" by the situation in Samoa.

"We should not be seeing these sorts of outbreaks in 2019 when we've had a very inexpensive, safe and efficacious vaccine for several decades now.

Samoa ‘Door to door measles vaccination’ drive: Three weeks work completed in two days

“The national coverage now is at 89%, with our main target groups of infants 6 months to 4 years at 82%, and children aged 5 to 19 years at a high 93%,” announced the DAC Director.
“This is an uplift from the rates that had been previously recorded when the outbreak started so the unified effort has resulted in a massive increase of coverage.”
Director General of Health Leausa Dr Take Naseri has confirmed that the one of the benefits of the mass vaccination, is already being felt.

Two more deaths from measles in Samoa, toll now 65

The government says there is also now at least 4460 measles cases since the outbreak began in October.

There were 103 new cases recorded in the last 24 hours.

165 people remain hospitalised including 18 critically ill children and three pregnant women.

The new figures come after a two-day nationwide shutdown to enable vaccination teams to reach households where people still needed to be immunised.

Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi said the teams carried out more than 20,000 vaccinations on Thursday and Friday.


No Sunday break for Samoa NEOC including Mobile Clinics

At the same time Mobile Clinics targeting isolated and hard to get to families were also on the road going from family to family to administer the measles vaccination doses.

Consent is granted by a parent or guardian before the injections are administered to children.

With infections rising daily, the epidemic is yet to reach the critical inflection point at which the disease stops spreading, according to the Ministry of Health.

Samoa govt allocates more funds for measles epidemic

The Minister of Finance, Sili Epa Tuioti, said the money would be spent to meet several needs such as upgrading hospitals.

There have been at least 48 measles-related deaths since the outbreak last month, most of the dead being children under four years old.

The Prime Minister, Tuila'epa Sa'ilele Malielegaoi, said next month the government would table in Parliament a proposed legislation that would impose penalties against parents who ignored the compulsory vaccination order that had been ordered.

2 infants die taking Samoa measles death toll to 44

One of the dead was aged between zero and five-months-old, while the second was aged between six and 11-months-old.

Of the 44 dead, 40 were aged under four-years-old.

In the latest update, the Ministry of Health confirmed that a total of 3,357 measles cases have been reported to the Disease Surveillance Team, since the outbreak started.

There were 208 recorded in the last 24 hours.

Three pregnant women and 21 critically ill children are among the in-patients at health facilities.

UK medics fight deadly measles outbreak in Samoa

A group of 13 British doctors and nurses left the UK for Samoa Friday to help children who are suffering.

The support from the UK-aid funded UK’s Emergency Medical Team (UK EMT) follows an urgent request for British expertise from the Samoan government and the Australian Medical Assistance Team (AusMAT), who have spent the last two weeks tackling the outbreak.

Over 3,300 people in Samoa have so far been infected, and 44 people, including 40 children under four have died. A further 208 new cases were recorded in the last 24 hours.