Ryan Bridge: Health Minister David Clark owes New Zealand an explanation over measles epidemic

OPINION: If you're a mum in Samoa today you're waking up to a huge problem - you can't send your kids to daycare

They're all closed. You can't send them to pre-school either, they're all closed too. But that's the least of your worries today

The reason is tragic - two babies and an adult have died in a measles epidemic which is sweeping the country.

This is our Pacific neighbour - and the epidemic we exported to them.

The dead are an 8-month-old baby, a 14-month-old and a 37-year-old. All from suspected measles.

Samoa's government is so worried it's trying to keep young people home and vaccination centres are being opened across the country.

 But this all could have been avoided. The infected person is suspected to have arrived from Auckland in August.

Officials here were warned as early as July this year that we posed a threat to our Pacific neighbours. The Government was also warned for years that a vaccination catch-up plan was needed here in New Zealand, and we didn't act.

Where are we now?

Julie Anne Genter is doing the best she can. However, the horse has bolted.

It is under Health Minister David Clark that this beast began growing. It's time he fronted up on this.

Children have died in Samoa, unborn babies have died here at home. An enquiry is coming but it's too late.  

The Minister owes us - and the mothers in Samoa - an explanation and I think he owes it to us now.

Ryan Bridge is a co-host of The AM Show