Norwegians on ground to help Samoa fight measles

Norway has sent 16 medical professionals and four support staff to Samoa to help manage the measles epidemic which has claimed 63 lives in just two months.

The team landed in early December and are, alongside the nurses and doctor from French Polynesia, part of the European Civil Protection Mechanism run by the European Union.

They are taking their lead from the Ministry of Health and World Health Organisation on their local tasks.

E.U Commissioner for Crisis Management Janez Lenarčič said the teams are necessary to help tackle an epidemic that has infected more than 4200 people in a matter of weeks.

Our thoughts are with all those affected and with the Samoan authorities and emergency medical teams that are managing the outbreak,” he said.

The E.U Civil Protection Mechanism is used by not only the E.U but six other states as well for disaster response when their emergency is greater than a countries ability to respond to it.

Resources from several countries can be pooled with the E.U mechanism as the sole point of contact, making crisis management that much easier on the ground.

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