3 Oct 2003

Samoa's Health ministry says rubella outbreak already peaked, mass vaccinations imminent

11:26 am on 3 October 2003

Samoa's Director-General of Health, Dr Eti Enosa, says that according to surveys the department has conducted, the country's rubella outbreak has already peaked, but the mass immunisation programme will go ahead.

The starting date for mass vaccinations has yet to be finalised but Dr Enosa says it should commence in two weeks time when they've secured the necessary funding.

The Ministry of Health estimates that up to 135-thousand people will be vacinated.

"We have met and got the rough numbers, so we have to plan the mobilising of forces locally and also where we are going to store the vaccines. At the same time we will come up with a near enough figure which we will submit to development partners for procuring."

Dr Eti Enosa says that they are promoting awareness about rubella through education programmes and advertising.

The outbreak has recently claimed the lives of three children.