29 Nov 2019

NZ to send more medical staff, supplies to Samoa - Peters

11:24 am on 29 November 2019

New Zealand will be sending more medical staff and supplies to help Samoa tackle its measles outbreak, including another 100,000 vaccinations.

Winston Peters

Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters. Photo: RNZ / Ana Tovey

Thirty-nine people have died and about 3000 have contracted the disease, prompting a mass vaccination campaign.

Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters said the latest support package included more medical staff and a machine to support oxygen production.

Among the medical team will be up to 15 intensive care specialists, as well as additional Samoan-speaking doctors and nurses.

New Zealand was also looking to provide psychological support for health workers in Samoa, he said.

Earlier this week, Samoa's top health official predicted the worst was still to come.

Director General of Health, Leausa Dr Take Naseri, said more children needed to be reached.

"We are still not satisfied with the coverage of the six months to the four years. We still haven't crossed 40 percent of that age group.

"The other age groups are doing steadily, but we are still worried that most of the kids are not coming forward or not being brought by their parents."

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