Measles epidemic in Samoa

10 December 2019

Anglican Missions encourages giving to those affected by the measles epidemic in Samoa through our partner Christian World Service (CWS). DONATE here. . CWS’s Family Centre is well established in Samoa, and has a significant history in responding to emergencies, especially through a well-developed, local psychosocial support programme.

From CWS:

Like many of you, we are very concerned about the situation in Samoa.  The measles virus has already claimed too many lives and every effort must be made to make sure people are vaccinated and have the support they need after such a tragedy. 

A number of people have asked what we can do to support Samoans affected by this outbreak.  Yesterday we were contacted by our colleagues at the Family Centre in Lower Hutt asking if we could help.  We last worked with them in 2012 when Cyclone Evan caused widespread damage.

This morning one staff member and a Child and Adolescent psychiatrist flew to provide psychosocial support to families and communities affected.  They will support 3 local teams  from the Family Centre Samoa who have been trained in psychosocial care after previous disasters.  They will provide support to each aiga who has lost a child or loved one, as well as others providing medical care to those who are sick and others affected by the virus.

Family Centre Samoa is undertaking a needs assessment.  Initially it will include a focus on the rural outlying areas and those who are not reached by other support services. 

This is a very traumatic time for the families and communities in Samoa, and New Zealanders are able to support this response through the CWS Samoa appeal.  

Please continue to pray for everyone affected.  If you would like to make a donation for psychosocial needs, please donate here, and write "Samoa" in the comments space or mark an online donation for Samoa.” (See an update on CWS’ involvement here: https://mailchi.mp/anglicanlife/anglican-e-life-11-december-1462805?e=a69e7d1bf7).

Read also CWS recent media release

Other agencies assisting this appeal include:

     Caritas Aotearoa - providing hospital-grade linen and hand sanitiser, and transportation support to ensure medical staff mobility. 

     Adventist Development Relief Agency (ADRA) - providing water and food to families and staff at vaccination centres, along with delivery of neo-natal equipment donated by regional medical authorities.  

     Rotary - working with local manufacturers and business to provide beds and cots to further support the comfort of high numbers of patients in hospital.