Save the Children deploys health workers to Samoa   

 

Save the Children, 6th December 2019

A team of midwives and a doctor from Save the Children’s Emergency Health Unit are set to arrive in Samoa on Sunday to support the government's response to the measles outbreak. 

 

 

The outbreak has infected 4,357 people, mostly children, since the beginning of October.

At least 63 people have died from measles-related complications, including 55 children under the age of five.[1]

As many as one in every 20 children with measles gets pneumonia, the biggest infectious killer of young children globally and the most common cause of death from measles.

Dr Louisa Baxter, who is leading Save the Children’s medical team deployed to the response, said:

“The situation in Samoa is very serious. There are many critically unwell children in hospital and more are being admitted every day. Routine services such as care to pregnant women have been interrupted leaving them without the support they need at a crucial time.

“Save the Children’s team of clinical staff will work in the main hospital in Samoa to support the healthcare of women and small children. We are supporting Samoan Ministry of Health staff who have been fighting this outbreak tirelessly for months and other emergency medical teams from across the world who are responding.

"We are extremely concerned because of the potentially lethal implications measles has for young children in particular.”

Save the Children’s response team is part of the organisation’s Emergency Health Unit and will be deployed to Samoa, where they will carry out a needs assessment and offer support to the Ministry of Health.

Our team offer pre- and post-natal care for women experiencing complications related to measles. 

ENDS

For more information or interviews with spokespeople, please contact media@savethechildren.org.uk or +44 (0)20 7012 6841 / +44 (0)7831 650409 (out of hours)


[1] Samoa’s Ministry of Health, December 2019

[2] World Health Organization: https://www.who.int/vaccine_safety/initiative/detection/immunization_misconceptions/en/index2.html

 

 

 

 

 

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