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Samoa: UN releases emergency aid to combat the widespread of Measles

Arhama AltafWeb Editor

10th Dec, 2019. 10:59 am
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UN releases emergency aid to combat the widespread of Measles

An uncontrollable measles outbreak has continued to spread in Samoa, with the death toll reaching 70.

The United Nations (UN) on Monday released $2.6 million in emergency aid to combat the widespread of Measles.

Official figures showed there were 112 new cases reported in 24 hours, despite a massive immunization drive last week that saw the entire Pacific nation shut down for two days.

The UN undersecretary general for humanitarian affairs and emergency relief coordinator, Mark Lowcock announced that the aid had been released.

“The people of Samoa will not fight this outbreak alone,” Lowcock said in a statement. “We can and must move swiftly to stop this deadly outbreak in its tracks.”

The funds will go towards vaccinations, obstetric and neonatal care for infected mothers and newborns, clean water and public health information campaigns, the UN said.

Samoa´s government said the mobile vaccination teams had succeeded in ensuring 90 percent of the 200,000-strong population was immunized, up from around 30 percent when the epidemic began in mid-October.

However, the vaccine takes 10-14 days to take effect.

The total number of cases was 4,693, with 229 people currently in hospital, including 16 ill children in critical conditions.

Infants are the most vulnerable to measles, which typically causes a rash and fever but can also lead to brain damage and death.

Among the 70 dead, 61 are children aged four or under.

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