Unfair to say NZ at fault for Samoa measles – High Commissioner

New Zealand‘s High Commissioner to Samoa says any claims that New Zealand is at fault for Samoa‘s measles epidemic are unfair.

Trevor Matheson Photo: Supplied/ MFAT

Trevor Matheson said New Zealand had been forthcoming with assistance since the outbreak began.

Dr Matheson said equipment and medicines had been flown in over the last few weeks, while an offer of New Zealand medical personnel remained.

However, he said links between the measles epidemics in Samoa and needed to be assessed.

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Herd immunity in Samoa had dropped following the incorrectly administered vaccine related deaths of two infants in Samoa last year making Samoa susceptible to contamination from the measles epidemic in Auckland.

Dr Matheson said when Samoa‘s outbreak was under control, there would be an opportunity to look at where improvements could be made.

“Some things are being done very well and we know that things could probably have been done better in terms of communication but I‘m confident that with the right sort of approach we can end with a health system that Samoa can be proud of, that we can actually focus on its real needs and to ensure that this doesn‘t occur again.”

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