Samoa/Pacific: Measles Outbreak Information bulletin (MDRWS002)

Situation Report
Originally published
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This bulletin is being issued for information only and reflects the current situation and details available at this time. The Samoa Red Cross Society (SRCS) with the support of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) will seek funding through DREF activation to provide support to the affected population.

The situation

A state of emergency was declared by the Samoan Government on 15 November 2019 following the widespread transmission of measles. As of 26 November, the government confirmed a total of 2,437 cases and 32 related deaths. The number of patients confirmed continues still to grow daily.

Majority of the confirmed cases and deaths are children below the age of five. As of 26 November, 1,298 of the 2,437 (53 per cent) confirmed cases and 28 of the 32 (88 per cent) related deaths were of children less than 5 years old.

Red Cross and Red Crescent action

The Samoa Red Cross Society activated its disaster response on Sunday 17th November following the declaration of the state of emergency. The SRCS has since assisted the Ministry of Health (MoH) by:

  • Providing First Aid standby service – as required for any health emergency within the vaccination sites;

  • Assisting the flow and registration of patients attending the MoH run vaccination site set up by SRCS in the Red Cross compound;

  • Providing hygiene promotion activities such as handwashing and personal hygiene behaviour for people in the waiting room in all vaccination sites;

  • Mobilizing voluntary blood donor recruitment at workplaces and within the community to address the additional blood demand necessary to treat serious measle cases;

A total of 10, 694 people have been assisted through the 11 Measles Care Units (MCUs). Vaccination was also administered to 3, 427 children from 6 months to 19 years of age and young females of childbearing age. The CCST pacific office continues to provide technical support and guidance to the SRCS.

With further financial support, the SRCS aims to reach 30,000 people to:

• Provide safe, adequate and secure location for mobile unit in vaccination campaign

• Reinforce voluntary non-remunerated blood drives (VNRBD) – target of 500 donors

• Provide first aid standby to all sites – target of 10,000 people

• Provide effective health messaging to all level for awareness and preventative measures targeting 30,000 people with hygiene promotion activities.