Helping Hands making a difference amidst measles chaos
The death toll from the measles epidemic continues to increase with the future looking bleak with the rising loss of lives.
Despite the hardships brought on by the epidemic, there are individuals working behind-the-scenes, who are part of a growing number of volunteers assisting those in the frontlines to contain the country’s measles outbreak.
The Helping Hands is one such volunteer group that has stepped forward in this time of crisis.
Their work includes serving food, providing basic needs for patients and caretakers, and distributing these donations to hospitals and those in need across the country.
A kitchen run by the organization has been set up in Lotopa, and have been using donated food to make soup, which is taken to medical teams at the Tupua Tamasese Meaole National Hospital, and the Leulumoega District Hospital at Nofoalii.
The nonprofit organization describes themselves as ‘a group of hands that have come together to help our community and Samoan families affected by the measles epidemic’.
The response from local businesses and good Samaritan’s donating to the cause has been met with much praise and gratitude from both local and overseas Samoans on social media.
“We cannot thank all our kind hearted donors enough and all our awesome volunteers. You are all amazing,” stated a post on the Helping Hands Facebook page.
The provision of monetary donations, food and drink as well as mattresses, clean sheets, diapers and special care packages were created by the Helping Hands, and are among the many different ways local business and the general public can support the cause.
The Helping Hands is just one of many other non-government community organizations, which also includes the Rotary Club of Apia, Caritas Samoa, and ADRA Samoa who have been administering help to the families in the community most affected by measles.
Under the Samoa government’s state of emergency, all donations earmarked for communities affected by the measles epidemic are to coordinate with the National Emergency Operation Center (NEOC).