Samoa's PM urges nation not to be distracted by 'alternative cures' amid deadly measles epidemic

As the Samoan Government looks to shut down at the end of this week in an effort to focus their efforts on battling the measles epidemic, Samoa’s Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa'ilele Malielegaoi has taken aim at alternative healers.

Samoa’s Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sa'ilele Malielegaoi. Source: WTmedia/Youtube

Mr Malielegaoi announced Monday that the majority of public and Government services, except the Samoa Water Authority and the Electric Power Corporation, would be closed effective this Thursday and Friday.

In a state address yesterday Mr Malielegaoi told the nation not to be “distracted by the alternative cures," the Samoa Observer reports.

"Let us work together to convince those that do not believe that vaccinations are the only answer to the epidemic,” he said.

"First vaccinations is the only cure; if affected cases are presented early for treatment full recovery should be expected, and thirdly no traditional healers and kengen water preparations can cure measles."

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Most branches of government will close on December 5 and 6. Source: Breakfast

Yesterday the government announced measles vaccinations will be compulsory for everyone in the Pacific island nation.

The measles death toll sits at 53.