Medical experts arrive from Japan

The first of two deployments of medical professionals from Japan have arrived in Samoa this week to join the Ministry of Health’s efforts against the measles epidemic.

Ambassador Designate, Genichi Terasawa, said the two deployments will stay two weeks each. 

The first team, led by Dr. Yamanashi, arrived at 5am on Wednesday and immediately began work.

Dr. Yamanashi is a specialist in infectious diseases and respiratory medicine. He works for Nagasaki University in the Institute of Tropical Medicine.

“He is engaging in community care in resource-limited settings,” Mr. Terasawa added.

He is joined by a registered intensive care nurse.

The teams will be guided on their exact tasks by the Director General of Health Leausa Dr. Take Naseri.

“This is very serious. We are closely working with Tokyo Headquarters to provide assistance to this country so they can smoothly cope with the situation.”

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Mr. Terasawa said he was not sure whether Japan would successfully be able to deliver medical supplies, also in great need by Samoa.

“We are making a great effort to provide urgent equipment required by this country,” he said, adding Tokyo will advise them how to proceed. 

To the more than 50 families grieving for their family members lost to the disease, Mr. Terasawa had a simple message. 

“I would like to express profound condolences to the victims of the measles and my heartfelt sympathies to their families,” Mr. Terasawa added.

Background information from the Embassy of Japan.

Dispatch of the Japan Disaster Relief Infection Diseases Response Team

  1. Based upon the request of the Government of the Independent State of Samoa, the Government of Japan has decided to dispatch an Infectious Diseases Response Team of the Japan Disaster Relief (JDR) composed of doctors, nurses, officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to the Independent State of Samoa 2019 in response to the Measles outbreak in the country. The first team arrived earlier today (4 December).

2.  Japan has decided to provide emergency assistance to Samoa to meet its humanitarian needs upon the request of the Government of the Independent State of Samoa, and in light of humanitarian perspective and the close relations between Japan and Samoa.

3.  The team will give assistance to provide clinical care to patients (mainly children) suffering from measles outbreaks by cooperating with the Government of the Independent State of Samoa, relevant countries, and International Organizations.



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