NZ issues Samoa dengue warning

By Sialai Sarafina Sanerivi 02 May 2024, 2:00PM

As Samoa grapples with a recent declaration of a dengue outbreak, local authorities and international agencies are taking proactive measures to mitigate the spread of the disease. 

New Zealanders planning to visit or already in Samoa have received a stern advisory from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade's Safe Travel website. 

The advisory strongly recommends ensuring comprehensive medical and travel insurance coverage, including provisions for medical evacuation by air if necessary.

This advisory comes in the wake of concerns regarding the dengue outbreak in Samoa, announced just over a week ago. 

With the situation evolving rapidly, travellers from New Zealand to Samoa are urged to register their details with the Ministry's website, enhancing communication and assistance channels in case of emergencies.

Meanwhile, within Samoa, the Ministry of Health has escalated its efforts to combat dengue, particularly within school premises located in identified hotspots. 

Fumigation processes have been ramped up as a preventive measure, targeting areas where stagnant water and potential mosquito breeding sites are prevalent.

The Ministry's officials have been actively conducting fumigation activities in various schools across the town area. 

Recently, Falefitu Primary School, Vaimauga College, Magiagi Primary School, Samoa College, the National University of Samoa, Marist Primary, and St. Mary's Primary have all undergone thorough fumigation. These efforts aim to curb the spread of dengue and protect students and staff fro m potential outbreaks.

In a recent media interview, the Director General of Health Aiono Professor Alec Ekeromaemphasised the importance of community participation in dengue prevention. 

He urged the public to maintain clean surroundings, especially targeting water catchment areas that serve as breeding grounds for mosquitoes.

He appealed to village and church leaders to actively support the Ministry's cleanup initiatives.

The Ministry of Health is prioritising fumigation efforts in urban areas where a majority of dengue cases have been reported. 

However, due to resource constraints, they are awaiting the arrival of additional chemicals to expand fumigation activities to other schools and regions across the country. 

Requests for fumigation assistance have already been received from schools and the Mapu i Fagalele Home of the Aged in Vailele.

In addition to local measures, Aiono confirmed plans to update the official travel advisory for incoming passengers, urging them to pack insect repellents when traveling to Samoa. 

This precautionary measure aims to provide an additional layer of protection against dengue transmission, safeguarding both locals and visitors alike.

By Sialai Sarafina Sanerivi 02 May 2024, 2:00PM
Samoa Observer

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