November 19, 2019
Dark days for Samoa as measles outbreak rages
Manurewa MP Louisa Wall says the outbreak of measles in Samoa is a harsh reminder of the need for New Zealand to get its immunisation strategies right.
There have been more than 2000 confirmed cases of measles in New Zealand this year, 1674 of them in New Zealand and the majority affecting Maori and Pasifika.
Now Samoa has declared a state of emergency with more than 700 cases and 16 deaths, including 15 children.
A medical team of 10 new Zealand doctors, nurses and supporting staff is heading for Samoa, and 30 vaccination nurses will also be sent to supplent the island nation’s own limited resources.
Ms Wall says it’s a dark day for Samoa.
“There are over 70,000 New Zealanders who go to Samoa every year. Obviously we now have to consider the impact of our immunisation policies on our Pacific brothers and sisters,” she says.
Ms Wall says given what we now know, it seems inconceivable why parents would not immunize their children.
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