Samoan family devastated after losing third child to measles

Luamanuvae has now lost three sons to measles.
Luamanuvae has now lost three sons to measles. Photo credit: Getty.

A father of five buried his 14-month-old child Sale Tuivales on Tuesday in the village of Lauli'i in Samoa. 

It was the third child Tu'ivale Luamanuvae has lost to measles in the past month. 

Luamanuvae told local media his three children were possibly infected by measles at the Savalalo market where they sold items. 

"I thought that my son (Sale) would survive when the other two passed away," Luamanuvae told the  Samoa Observer. 

The other family members are now vaccinated after they showed symptoms of measles. 

On Friday, measles vaccinations were made mandatory, while the country was declared to be in a state of emergency. 

At least 15 children are reported to have died in Samoa from measles or complications from the disease.

The deaths included two babies born prematurely, one to a mother who had clinical symptoms of measles.

At least two other victims had died at home, including a five-year-old girl who was the daughter of the only adult to have fallen victim to the illness so far.

It is reported that the family's main source of income, which was their stall has shut down following the children's deaths.