10 Jan 2020

Group provides measles relief for Samoa's 'forgotten' Savai'i

2:44 pm on 10 January 2020

A team has spent four days on the Samoan island of Savai'i, providing resources and counselling to families affected by the measles epidemic.

More than 120 vaccination teams went out on Thursday across Samoa. We were told at the end of the day about 5500 vaccinations were given out on the first day of the government shutdown.

Photo: RNZ / Logan Church

To date, 83 people have died in the epidemic, which at its peak in November was claiming the lives of about five or six people a day but has since waned.

The chief executive of the Samoa Umbrella for Non-Governmental Organisations, Fuimaono Vaitolo Ofoia, said the vast majority of the victims were on the main island of Upolu.

Fuimaono said Savai'i, which had about 300 cases, had become somewhat forgotten.

"We were under the impression that Savai'i hasn't got any aid from any donor overseas.

"So because we believe that Upolu has been bombarded with all the donations to all the victims, that's why we started from Savai'i first."

Fuimaono said his group had been providing food, supplies and counselling to families.

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