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Final year college students are to sit the national Secondary School Leaving Certificate (SSLC) exam this week starting on Tuesday right up to Friday.

The Ministry of Education is taking into consideration the measles epidemic and overseas travel for students who are unable to sit.

 Ombudsman Maiava Iulai Toma, has made it clear that the rights of the parents to deny the children measles vaccination is overruled when it comes to the safety of children in a deadly health epidemic.

He gave his position in response to the current argument of the rights of parents to decide what is best for their children that included not having them vaccinated.

A roadside brawl in front of a busy supermarket next to the main road at Vailoa, threatened public safety when it spilled onto the road.

Eyewitness reported empty bottles and rocks flying around and onto oncoming traffic.

The violence broke out between two groups of men at around 9.00pm in the evening, according to people who were present when it happened.

New Zealand Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters is not ready to accept fingers pointed at the New Zealand measles outbreak, as the origins of the virus that started the epidemic in Samoa.

“There are 10 million cases of the measles in the world and the source of the virus in Samoa is not known,” Peters added as a footnote in a meeting with the media on Friday.

The national state of emergency over the measles epidemic is extended for another two weeks, past Christmas Day to the 29th of December 2019.

The Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi made the formal announcement only hours ago inside his office.

There are still 16,000 thousand people to be vaccinated, according to the PM.  The pulenu'u mop up operation has so far recorded 1342 unvaccinated people, 579 are 19 years and under with 763 above the younger age group.

Local

Tilomai Ah Siu Alofipo of Vaitoloa is a mother struggling to deal with a living nightmare she went through, of having three children with the measles at the same time.

Her 4 year old son and two daughters, the youngest was her baby daughter, all picked up the virus and ended up at the TTM Hospital, Moto’otua.

Her son and 2 year old daughter Sophrania eventually pulled through except for her baby Hazel.

Since March 2019, the Central Bank of Samoa (CBS) has been engaging with the banking industry, non bank payment service providers and select government ministries in the rollout of the new national payment system, Automatic Transfer System (ATS)

More medical teams are making their way to Samoa from New Zealand to to join the medical teams working with the measles epidemic.

Dr. Penehuro Tapelu and senior nurse Ms. Kailua Faafoi  are from the Porirua-based primary health care provider, Pacific Health Plus, in a joint project with Pacific Cooperation Foundation.

“This is Pacific Health Plus trying to do what we can for our Samoan brothers and sisters,” says John Fiso, chairman of Pacific Health Plus.

Deidre Fanene

A woman who is charged with attempted murder as well as grievous bodily harm of a male from Solaua, Saoluafata pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The woman is in legal strife for discharging a firearm, attempted murder, armed with a dangerous weapon and grievous bodily harm.

The incident occurred on the 29th of October this year.

Up to a thousand Methodist youth from around the country will miss out on the annual church organised camp for them at the Faleula compound.

Ban on 19 years and under age group from congregating in public places is still in effect under the national state of emergency order, on the mesales epidemic.

The Pacific community in Wellington New Zealand, organised a concert raising funds for families affected by the measles epidemic in Samoa.

"As a Mum of two young girls, seeing the number of young children dying in Samoa has been heartbreaking," said Sophia Uele of Tautua Dance, one of the organisers of the event.

She said she and her partner felt raising funds for Samoa could be one way to help, and once the call went out for performers, people generously said yes.

New measles cases continue to slide from a high of 83 yesterday to 8 less people with a total of 75 recorded today in the last 24 hours for Update Report 26.

The death toll is up to 72 with 1 fatality to keep the count steady at I since yesterday from Update Report 25.

 Ombudsman Maiava Iulai Toma, has made it clear that the rights of the parents to deny the children measles vaccination is overruled when it comes to the safety of children in a deadly health epidemic.

He gave his position in response to the current argument of the rights of parents to decide what is best for their children that included not having them vaccinated.

Deidre Fanene

  PM Tuilaepa in discussion with the Chairman of the National Emergency Advisory Committee Ulu Bismarck Crawley

Vaccination teams were turned away by some of the families who did not accept the measles injections, during the Thursday and Friday house to house emergency immunisation campaign.

The Chairman of the Disaster Advisory Committee, Ulu Bismarck Crawley, confirmed the rejections.

One more fatality is added to the measles death toll that now stands at 71 in the  late 24 hour Update Report 25.

This is compared to none in the previous 24 hour  Updated Report 24.

New recorded cases continue to slip with 83 recorded compared to 87 in the previous update.

The Ministry of Health confirms a total of 4,898 measles cases

The cancellation of scheduled cruise ship arrivals at the end of this year is felt by the taxi service.

It is one of the peak periods of business they look forward to every year leading into the holiday season.

But many of the taxi operators were understanding about the health fears of the  tourists as well.

 Enoka Fiai'i who operates under Paradise Taxi Stand, thinks health should be a priority.

US$3.5 million to support measles emergency response, with further $9.3m program to address key health system challenges 

SYDNEY, December 9, 2019 — The World Bank will provide US$3.5 million in funding to support the response to the measles outbreak in Samoa, on top of a US$9.3 million grant that will support health systems strengthening in Samoa over the next five years.

MEDIA RELEASE : Sixteen children have now died in the Samoa measles epidemic with the latest death a 7-month-old child from Savai’i.

While help from New Zealand and Australia with vaccinations have arrived, what is not accounted for is the traumatic and social impact that the measles situation is having and will continue to have on families, and those on the frontline.

The crisis of the psyche and heart also deserves attention and support.

Crime

Deidre Fanene

 A police arrest was made at the weekend in the killing of a 30 year old male at Leauva’a, 7 months since it happened on Mother’s Day earlier this year in May.

The arrest comes while two other suspects have already been charged and released on bail conditions to await court hearing next year.

 

Tauva Lima-Tavae

A Supreme Court ruling has dismissed a Strike Out Motion by the ‘ali’i and faipule’ of Leulumoega-tuai led by former Speaker of Parliament Tolofuaivalelei Falemoe Leiataua for an alleged contempt of court charge.

The ruling is in response to a dispute over a decision of the Lands and Titles Court in the matter involving informants Vaitofi Sefo, Faatoafe Mati Sauafu and Leoli Sanele.

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