Salvation Army rallies for epidemic
The money from the Salvation Army Samoan Measles Epidemic Appeal will go towards practical assistance such as medical supplies, food parcels, water and the tragic reality of funeral costs, the organisation has confirmed.
Donations will also go directly to help the families of those touched by the epidemic, which has now claimed 70 people - mainly babies and children.
The Ministry of Health is predicting that the infection rate is yet to reach its peak, and that the death toll may continue to rise until the end of the month.
Regional leaders for the Salvation Army Lt. Cols. Rod and Jenny Carrey have seen the outbreak affect nearly every family on the island, and say that, while health professionals do what they can to halt the spread of the disease, the church will provide in terms of welfare support.
Donations to the Pacific Emergency Fund will not only be dedicated to the measles epidemic but also seek to raise money for the anticipated cyclone season, and hopes to make a broader impact on the Samoan people.
Salvation Army churches in New Zealand will be asking their congregations to dig deep for their cause; that call has been extended to all New Zealanders.
“This Christmas, Samoa is facing an absolutely terrible situation. Many of these families are facing the worst tragedy at a time when they should be rejoicing,” said Lt. Colonel Rod Carey.
“It is absolutely our Christian responsibility as The Salvation Army to reach out in love and kindness.”