Funeral held for latest young victim in Samoan measles crisis

The death toll in the Samoan measles crisis has reached 32, and its latest victim was a young child.

Alleluia Junior Fuga Sefo, or "AJ", was one year and eight months old when he died from the disease. 

At his funeral in Apia on Tuesday (New Zealand time), AJ's uncle Tupai Molesi said he will be remembered as a boy who liked to dance.

"A very happy boy, a very healthy boy and that really brings happiness into my heart. And that's why I miss the boy. It's too hard to explain," he said.

The family said AJ was vaccinated against measles, but ended up being admitted to hospital seriously unwell after catching the disease. 

When he didn't recover in hospital, the family took him to a traditional healer. 

His cousin Hinemoa Isitolo said she spoiled AJ, treated him like a little brother and was looking forward to growing up with him.

"All of our wishes are now not fulfilled because he's gone now," she said.

AJ died within a week of becoming ill and died at home. His family have a strong message for all parents in Samoa.

"This is a must. I must emphasise the importance of vaccinations. If you neglect to do that, you are actually killing your child," Molesi said.

The crisis is mainly claiming the lives of children under five-years-old.