Samoa has announced a state of emergency on Friday after a number of deaths linked to a measles epidemic. Even more, the government has closed schools for an unspecified period since Monday. Samoa Government has also announced an obligatory mass vaccination campaign. Thus it has become mandatory to receive immunizations against measles. The move arrives as the Samoan government tries to put an end to a measles epidemic. Until now, officials have announced the death of 15 people due to the outbreak of the highly-contagious disease. Notably, most of the patients are children having age less than two years. Even more, the number of suspected measles cases has risen to 716, and around 40% of them need hospital admission.
According to Samoan health officials, the low immunization rate in the Pacific island countries is the reason for the outbreak. As per the reports of UNICEF, the Samoa Ministry of Health had announced the measles epidemic on 16th October. Currently, measles has re-emerged worldwide, including developed countries like the Americas and Europe and developing nations in Africa and Asia. Remarkably, limited access to vaccines and anti-vaxxer communities, both are liable for the wide upsurge. Leausa Naseri, Samoa’s director-general of health, said the way it is proceeding along with the inadequate vaccination coverage, they are expecting the most horrible to come. Naseri said they had found parents avoiding their responsibilities, by not vaccinating their children.
On the other hand, the epidemic is surmised to have started in bordering countries like Fiji, American Samoa, Tonga, New Zealand, and Australia. Even more, both have sent out medical teams to assist the local hospitals and facilities. Besides, a group of 34 doctors, clinical assistants, and nurses has reached the central hospital in the capital Apia, from Australia. The group will assist relieve staff and have set a temporary ICU. Meanwhile, New Zealand has promised to deliver up to 30 vaccination nurses over the upcoming four weeks. The effort will also deploy around 3,000 vaccinations.