29 Nov 2019

Samoa measles patients 'deteriorating before our eyes' - doctor

From Checkpoint, 6:14 pm on 29 November 2019

In Samoa the death toll from the measles epidemic has risen by three overnight to 42.

Questions are now being raised about the role of the New Zealand government and whether help should have been offered following the death of two babies in Samoa last year after they were given ill-prepared vaccines.

Checkpoint has repeatedly requested an interview with Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters for the past fortnight.

We wanted to ask if New Zealand considered coming to the aid of Samoa sooner, to slow the spread of measles infection. Mr Peters continues to decline interview requests.

In Samoa, Checkpoint's Alex Perrottet asked South Canterbury doctor Scott Wilson about how medical staff are coping and whether help should have been requested earlier.

He began by asking him how many patients were at the Leulumoega District Hospital.