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Health Director clarifies cost of measles treatment

The Director General of the Ministry of Health, Leausa Dr. Take Naseri, has clarified that the Government is not offering "free prescriptions for patients with measles.” 

But he confirmed that the treatment for children under 15 years old is free at all Government hospitals. 

Leausa offered the clarification in response to questions from the Samoa Observer as the nation continues to struggle with the measles crisis which has already claimed 70 lives, the majority of them being children.

“All children below 15 years old have free consultations and free treatment in all government hospitals,” Leausa said.

“Also all of their prescribed meds [medications] are also free from all government pharmacies regardless if its measles or not.” 

Senior citizens age 65 and over are also covered in the free medication and consultation services at the government hospital facilities.

As of Tuesday evening, data from the National Emergency Operation Centre shows that of  4693 reported measles cases, 1627 of them are those between 15 years old to 50 years and over. 

From the 70 measles death recorded, three are those in the 15 – 19 age group, two others are those age 20 – 29 and two more being age 30 to 39. 

Majority of measles victims are children in the age group 1 – 4 with 33 of them already losing their fight to the epidemic, 19 more age 6 months – 11 months and nine under 5 months.  

 N.E.O.C. reported 159 measles cases who are in-patients at all health facilities. 

Admissions include 16 critically ill children in the Intensive Care Unit and two pregnant women at the Tupua Tamasese Meaole Hospital. 

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