Amata Welcomes US Steps to Combat Measles in Samoa

December 2, 2019
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Monday, Congresswoman Aumua Amata welcomed news of U.S. and international steps to combat measles in Samoa.

Congresswoman Amata has reached out to U.S. Ambassador to New Zealand Scott Brown and his staff in Apia, and various government agencies for updates, and to learn about U.S. activities as part of the effort to support Samoa in containing the spread of measles.

Ambassador Brown has declared an emergency, which enables certain responses, especially allowing USAID to release potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars in funds to the World Health Organization and UNICEF specifically for measles response efforts in Samoa. Samoa is expected to need assistance in medical supplies, equipment, and personnel into 2020.

Congresswoman Amata has also been in contact with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and appreciates that CDC is sending two staff members to American Samoa.

“I appreciate these ongoing responses and updates from the U.S. federal government,” said Aumua Amata. “Thank you to Ambassador Brown and the CDC for continuing efforts to seek ways to help our friends and neighbors in Samoa.”

The CDC’s staff has already provided telephone consultation to the American Samoa Health Department on two cases of measles two weeks ago. CDC is deploying two staff to American Samoa to provide guidance on increasing vaccine coverage, assessing response capacity, and helping develop a response plan. Finally, CDC will also be providing support for vaccine purchases. CDC is the lead United States agency for measles outbreaks overseas.