A security guard watches the entrance of one of the temporary medical treatment tents, nicknames âKoalaâ that has been installed by the Australia medical assistance team to help treat some of the most acutely sick patients. They are providing more space for patients since the hospital wards have reached capacity.
As of December 16th 2019, there have been 5,200 confirmed cases of measles and 73 deaths in Samoa - out of a population of just over 200,000 people. A measles outbreak beginning in October has impacted the small island nation, which before the outbreak had a vaccination rate of only between 28-40% according to the United Nations Children's Fund (Unicef). Responding to the outbreak, the Samoan government has issued a state of emergency and enacted a mobile vaccination program which has now reportedly vaccinated over 90% of the population.
Apia, Samoa. 11th December 2019. Matthew Abbott for The New York Times.