The ongoing measles epidemic in Samoa has prompted the government to announce the closure of all government services this Thursday and Friday so public servants can assist with the country's mass vaccination campaign. Only warer and electricity services will continue operating.
53 people have died as a result of the epidemic, 48 of them children aged under four.
Samoa declared a state of emergency over the outbreak on November 15.
Prime Minister Tuilaepa Lupesoliai Sailele Malielegaoi says 58,000 people have now been vaccinated and that Samoa's partners have rallied to provide human resources, vaccines, medical supplies and equipment, technical expertise and financial contributions.
He also asked for media, village councils, churches, local officials and all other organisations to work together to reinforce the message that vaccinations are the only cure for measles, that with early treatment, full recovery can be expected, and that no traditional healers can cure measles.