Measles Outbreak Affecting Pacific

An alarming number of measles cases have been reported in several countries in the pacific.

Health Ministries across the Pacific are seeking possible solutions to prevent a similar outbreak.

Since an outbreak in Samoa, 15 children have died fro the disease and Concerns have now been raised in relation to the movement of people in the region.

Authorities in PNG are yet to respond to this epidemic.

In mid 2019, the PNG Health Department rolled out a Measles & Rubella vaccination campaign following the Polio Vaccination Campaign. However, the first round of measles vaccination carried out at the time is said to only contain a coverage of up to roughly 60% immunity;

In case of an epidemic, massive immunization is required to make sure those who missed out are captured, plus a second dose of the vaccination should be given to those who were vaccinated in June this year.

Oro Governor Gary Juffa, said the state of the country’s health is deplorable but he is concerned about the lack of proactive approach.

Samoa’s Government has announced a compulsory mass vaccination campaign after 15 children who were diagnosed with measles died from the disease. Similar measures are being taken in Fiji, after 7 cases were confirmed to have measles in Fiji’s Serua/Namosi area, with prompt action from Fiji’s outbreak response teams implementing measures to isolate those affected and vaccinating those who have come into contact with an infected person.

In Fiji, over 90,000 people have been vaccinated. Fiji’s Health Minister, Dr. Ifereimi Waqainabete says their ultimate aim is to ensure that no Fijian dies from measles.

By Helen Sea – EMTV News – Port Moresby

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