Samoa moves to restore confidence in health sector

Samoa’s director general of health says he wants to restore confidence in the country’s health system after the sudden deaths of two infants.

The two one-year-olds died suddenly on Savai’i last week, after receiving the MMR vaccine that protects against measles, mumps and rubella.

The director general, Leausa Take Naseri, has led a team to Savai’i to conduct autopsies.

He said efforts to restore confidence include stopping all MMR vaccinations.

“Vaccinations is like a mainstay of prevention here in Samoa for most infectious diseases. And that confidence has been compromised.”

“We want to be as transparent as much as possible to our public so we can regain public confidence in our system in the service we provide for our country,” he said.

Leausa Take Naseri said a vaccinologist from the World Health Organisation has arrived in Samoa to assist with inquiries into the deaths.

He said doses remain from the vial containing the vaccine that was given to the infants which will be analysed.