Korea pledges help for Samoa's health crisis
The Republic of Korea has pledged US$100,000 (T$260,000) to assist with efforts to contain Samoa's measles outbreak.
The Office of the Honorary Consulate of the Republic of Korea in Samoa pledged support from the Korean Government to "support Samoa to overcome the measles outbreak" in a statement released on Saturday.
The South Korean Government said it would channel its USD$100,000 donation via the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (I.F.R.C.) in order to bolster their front-line work in coming weeks.
“The Honorary Consulate for the Republic of Korea, Leiataualesa Taii Jerry Brunt, who is also the President of the Samoa Red Cross, informs that his Office will ensure the funding assistance from the Korean Government is put to greater use,” a spokesman for the Korean Embassy in Auckland said.
Leiataualesa said he would also ensure that the Red Cross provides an auxiliary role to the Government's mass vaccination programme.
“We definitely do not want another epidemic. So many precious young lives have been taken away," he said.
“Please Samoa let’s all get behind our Government’s vaccination campaign.
“Let us all get vaccinated and then it is up to you whether you want to believe in traditional healers or not. Let us work together."
The Samoa Red Cross also extended its gratitude and thanks the Korean Government for what it said was much needed assistance.
The Republic of Korea joins foreign countries such as America, United Kingdom, New Zealand, Australia, China, Japan and Israel in offering assistance via monetary, medical supplies and personnel to Samoa in the midst of its outbreak.
As of Saturday, the total measles death toll amounted to 65 people; 4,460 measles cases in Samoa and 103 cases were recorded in the last 24 hours.