Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr Sailele Malielegaoi together with Deputy Prime Minister Fiame Naomi Mataafa and the entire Samoa Cabinet made an impromptu visit to Motootua hospital yesterday evening.
Cabinet visited Motootua where 120 of the 147 in-patient measles cases have been admitted for treatment in an epidemic that has claimed 20 lives, with 200 newly confirmed cases in the past 24 hours.
The meeting was set up a floor above the hospital’s Intensive Care Unit where latest reports confirm 11 babies are fighting for their lives.
Prime Minister Tuilaepa spoke on behalf of the Samoa Government to encourage health care workers who were able to attend. He acknowledged that they continue to be at the front line as Samoa battles the measles outbreak.
“We came here today to thank you and assure you that we are in this together;
“O le ala lea o le matou savalivali mai e manatu o loo tele le galuega o loo feagai ma outou. Ia tou silafia o loo tatou tiga faatasi.
The Prime Minister gave his assurance that Cabinet was on standy by to process any State of Emergency orders required by the medical professionals in their efforts to contain and eradicate the epidemic.
O le matou savalivali mai e le gata i le momoli atu le faafetai ma le faamalo, ae faapena foi ona tuutuu atu o matou tauau, e tapena ai i soo se taimi poo lea lava le fesoasoani, ua uma ona taoto le tulafono e tusa ai ma faasalalauga tau faalavelave faafuasei.
It was also an opportunity for the Government leaders to thank the volunteers from New Zealand and Australia’s Medical Assistance Teams.
“We ae very greatful for your voluntary service to come here from your countries and give us help.”
“We are so greatful that your Government and your organisations have seen fit to offer to us your assiatance, and we are extremely greatful for your volunatary work to come and work for Samoa.
“We wish God’s blessing over you for all the effort you have put in, and wish God’s blessings to guide you while you are here, and when you return home.”
Update No6 breaks down the 1,644 confirmed cases and 20 deaths by age. Of the deaths, 19 are under the age of 5.
Deaths include five babies under 5 months, four between 6 -11 months and ten children 1-4 years old. One child passed away in the last 24 hours. The Prime Minister made special mention and called for prayers over the 11 children in ICU.