Vaovasamanaia Winston Peters and Aupito William Sio Visit Samoa

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New Zealand Foreign Affairs Minister Vaovasamanaia Winston Peters and Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio will travel to Samoa on Friday, where New Zealand medical teams are helping Samoa respond to an outbreak of measles that has claimed 72 young lives.

Vaovasamanaia and Aupito will meet with Samoan Prime Minister Tuilaepa and hold a joint press conference at 3pm tomorrow in Apia.

The New Zealand Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Pacific Peoples will visit Leulumoega District Hospital and Tupua Tamasese Meaole Hospital, where New Zealand health teams are working together with local doctors to treat ill patients and support the maternity unit. They will also visit UNICEF Headquarters.

“New Zealand has been working closely with the Government of Samoa and offering our assistance from the early stages of the outbreak. New Zealand has deep sympathy for the situation in Samoa and we are committed to supporting their response to this crisis,” said Vaovasamanaia.

New Zealand has sent multiple teams of medical professionals to Samoa since 20 November and has funded 100,000 measles and rubella (MR) vaccines provided by UNICEF, and 15,000 measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccines from New Zealand. Other support includes providing an oxygen production machine, vaccination fridges, face masks, gowns, hand sanitiser and stretcher beds.

“We are continuing to work very closely with Samoa, and other international partners, as this situation develops and needs arise,” added Vaovasa.

“Our thoughts are with everyone affected by the tragic situation in Samoa,” Aupito William Sio said