Samoan government to shut down due to measles outbreak

Samoa's government will shut down this week due to the measles outbreak.

All services except water and electricity will be closed, and staff have been instructed to help with the country's mass vaccination campaign.

Samoan Prime Minister Tuilaepa Aiono Sailele Malielegaoi made the announcement on Monday.

"The public service and all government services will be closed from 5th to the 6th of December in order to allow all public servants to assist with the mass vaccination campaign throughout the country," he said. 

The measles outbreak has killed 53 people so far. The number of those admitted to hospital stands at 1129 - 183 of whom remain as in-patients at a health facility.

The Prime Minister spoke out against alternative cures and traditional healing, condemning them as useless against the disease.

"We need to understand the following issues, first vaccinations is the only cure. Two if affected cases are presented early for treatment full recovery is expected,"

"Thirdly no traditional healers or Kangen water preparations can cure measles."

Last week, Newshub revealed a Samoan healer was claiming to cure measles using the alkaline water, despite being aware it "did nothing".

Fritz Alai'asa had his home business shut down by police after a complaint was laid by Pacific correspondent Michael Morrah. 

"The answer to our prayers is with us, through the doctor and the nurses," said Malielegaoi.


Samoan health authorities have been assisted over the last two weeks by Kiwi nurses. On Friday, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters announced additional support and personnel would be deployed to the nation.

"Protect our children, seek medical care for sick children early, ensure family members are vaccinated and also maintain good hygiene stands in all environments,

"May God's healing be upon us all."