Authorities remain alert despite fatality rate slowing down

The Chairman of the National Disaster Advisory Committee, Ulu Bismarck Crawley, has cautioned against complacency in the nation's fight against the measles epidemic. 

“We cannot say that fatalities have slowed down,” Ulu told the Samoa Observer.

The number of deaths from the crisis has lessened dramatically since last week which has given rise to public thoughts that perhaps the epidemic has weakened.

But that's not the message at the National Emergency Operation Center (N.E.O.C.) headed by Ulu.

Ulu pointed out that there are still a number of people who are in critical condition at the hospitals.

“We’re just saying that we still have a number of those critical ones that are still being treated and those are the ones who have walked in and was received in the state [that needs] extreme care,” he said.

“So these are the very vulnerable groups, of 16 cases and two pregnant mothers who are still in the hospital.”

Ulu said still there are people who have deliberately been handled at home and delivered at very late stages, “and the Ministry of Health has been trying their best to revive them.”

To date, 71 measles fatalities have been recorded with 4898 measles cases reported to the Disease Surveillance Team.

Ulu reminded that pregnant mothers who have lost their unborn children are not included in this number. At least one pregnant mother was reported to have lost a child while being infected with the virus.

On Wednesday afternoon, registered nurse and midwife, Tiara Tu’ulua took to Facebook the good news of having no more measles pregnant mothers in the maternity ward.

“Today, our teams from [the] Maternity successfully discharged the last measles pregnant mothers from our ward,” she said.

“And hopefully no more.”

The caption was posted together with a photo of an empty white board that records the names of the isolated pregnant mothers in the ward.

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