Samoa

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Samoa Measles Outbreak
USAID is providing immediate aid to support Samoa's response to a rapidly spreading measles outbreak.
World Health Organization

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Key Developments

Between August and late November 2019, the Government of Samoa (GoS) Ministry of Health (MOH) confirmed more than 3,100 measles cases, including 42 related deaths. The majority of recorded cases occurred on Samoa’s Upolu Island. On November 15, the GoS declared a State of Emergency due to the outbreak, closing all schools and implementing travel restrictions for children between the main islands of Savaii and Upolu. The MOH launched a mass vaccination campaign on November 20 that had vaccinated approximately 24,000 individuals by November 26. The GoS requested international assistance, including medical equipment, supplies, and staff.

On November 26, 2019, U.S. Ambassador Scott P. Brown declared a disaster due to the measles outbreak in Samoa. In response, USAID is providing $200,000 for immediate relief efforts. This assistance is supporting the UN World Health Organization to deploy emergency medical teams, and provide medical supplies and equipment, as well as technical expertise to support the GoS-led response.

Background

Samoa, a Pacific Island country, is vulnerable to natural disasters, including floods and tropical cyclones. USAID closely coordinates with and complements government relief efforts and the emergency relief efforts of local non-governmental organizations. In addition to disaster relief, USAID supports a number of initiatives to build capacity for disaster response in Pacific Island countries, including Samoa, and the larger East Asia and the Pacific region.

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Last updated: June 16, 2020

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