Ways to help people in Samoa during measles outbreak

Must See 05/12/2019

As Samoa continues to battle its ongoing measles crisis there are ways Kiwis can help their Pacific neighbours. 

The country has gone into lockdown after a state of emergency was declared, with health officials scrambling to stop the outbreak.

So far, 60 people - mainly children - have lost their lives to the disease, with more than 4000 cases recorded since the outbreak began in October.

So how can Kiwis help? 

Newshub Pacific affairs correspondent Michael Morrah, who is on the ground in the Pacific nation, says "the need is great".

He says people wanting to help fight the crisis should reach out to aid agencies on the ground, which "are doing incredible work here going door to door helping with the mass vaccination programme".

Sending items

Although people might be tempted to send goods directly to the country to help, Morrah says it's best to first contact the Government of Samoa or the Emergency Management Office to find out exactly what is needed.

"These people know what is needed in these communities. Sending a whole lot of stuff over to Samoa is helpful, but it must be stuff that can be used," Morrah told The AM Show on Thursday.

Much of the current need is centred on bedding supplies for Samoa's bursting hospitals, with waterproof bedding and hospital-grade mattresses.

In order to deal with the huge influx of patients, tents have been set up outside the hospital. Two temporary ICU units have also been set up outside Apia's main hospital.

"The need is great and they do need a hell of a lot of equipment but it's important for people in New Zealand to realise they need to get in touch with organisers on the ground and understand what is required."

Donating money

The best way for most people to help is by giving cash, says Morrah.

"That money can then be put into buying the goods that are required for these desperate families."

Please see the list of agencies below to make a donation