Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced that at the request of the Samoan Government, New Zealand will be providing further support to Samoa as it faces a worsening measles outbreak.
“In response to a request from the people of Samoa, New Zealand is providing 3000 measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccines and 12 nurses to assist in containing a serious and growing measles outbreak,” Mr Peters said.
“Measles is highly contagious, and the outbreak has taken lives in Samoa. It is in everybody’s interests that we work together to stop its spread.”
The first nurses, who will administer vaccinations, will arrive on Wednesday, with other nurses working on rotation over the coming weeks.
The vaccines are undergoing final clearance to arrive in Samoa next week.
“New Zealand has already responded to earlier requests from Samoa for medical supplies, and for pharmaceutical refrigerators which are essential to preserving the efficacy of vaccines,” Mr Peters said.
Supplies to Samoa have included face masks, gowns, hand sanitiser and stretcher beds, and vaccination fridges.