The Ministry of Health have declared a nation-wide vaccination rollout for typhoid fever, starting Monday 5th September to Friday 30th September 2022.
A press release signed by Acting Director General of Health, Tagaloa Dr Robert Thomsen confirms the target group will be babies as young as 9 months old, to adults 45 years of age.
The Ministry will be visiting villages in the more densley populated Apia urban area, from Laulii in the East, to Faleasiu in the West of Apia. For rural areas, the public are asked to please go the nearest District Hospital, where vaccinations will be readily available.
The Ministry states that increased cases of typhoid fever have been recorded in Samoa, especially amongst children.
Typhoid fever is a bacterial infection that can spread throughout the body, affecting many organs. Without prompt treatment, it can cause serious complications and can be fatal.
It’s caused by a bacterium called Salmonella typhi, which is related to the bacteria that cause salmonella food poisoning. Salmonella is also found in infected eggs. It is not clear from the MOH statement if the recent recall of expired Fijian imported eggs is related to the outbreak.
Typhoid fever is highly contagious. An infected person can pass the bacteria out of their body in their poo or, less commonly, in their pee.
If someone else eats food or drinks water that’s been contaminated with a small amount of infected poo or pee, they can become infected with the bacteria and develop typhoid fever.
The Ministry of Health urges the public to maintain a high level of hygiene and cleanliness in the toilet areas, and ensure hands are washed after using the toilet.
Areas where food is preparation and stored must also be kept clean, and covered from flies and insects that can easily carry the bacteria.
Press Statement issued in Samoan: