Samoa, the Pacific island nation, is currently haunted by a measles crisis that already took dozens of lives. The nation’s Prime Minister has declared a government shutdown as a reaction to the measles epidemic. The crisis has unrightfully claimed the lives of 53 residents of the Pacific island.
Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi revealed during a press conference that all departments of the government, besides the water authority and electric power corporation, would be shut down on Thursday and Friday.
The two-day shutoff will have government workers enlisted to help conduct a mass vaccination campaign.
Approximately 58,000 people in the nation have been vaccinated since November 20, and some say that is when the outburst seemed to increase in a shocking manner.
Mr. Malielegaoi said during the press conference: ”Let us work together to encourage and convince those who do not believe that vaccinations are the only answer to the epidemic.”
”Measles is not a new disease to Samoa and rarely claim lives. If a suspected case is presented early for treatment, full recovery should be expected.”
The Prime Minister added that there are no traditional healers that could cure the condition, and people should be aware of promises of alternative remedies. Some say that high amounts of vitamin A are a substitute to vaccination, but others say that it has not been demonstrated enough, and it cannot help avoid infection.
The Death Toll is Too High
Samoa reported a measles epidemic back in October after the first few deaths were registered. The Ministry of Health has announced that there were 3,728 measles cases since the crisis started.
“There were 198 recorded [measles cases] in the last 24 hours,” a statement coming from the department reported.
“To date, 53 measles-related deaths have been recorded, with five fatalities in the last 24 hours.”
There have been reported cases in countries close to Samoa, such as Australia, Fiji, Tonga, and New Zealand. These reports seem to claim that an outbreak is believed to have started in the above-mentioned neighboring countries.
Australia and New Zealand have sent medical teams to help Samoan local hospitals.