Pregnant mothers and women of child bearing age are an added worry with the mesales epidemic with the Ministry of Women and Community Development in the forefront of efforts to protect the vulnerable group.
Ministry CEO Afamasaga Faauiga Palepua Mulitalo, pointed to working teams moving into the villages to circulate pamphlets about how to protect against the measles virus.
“Many do not take health advice and warnings seriously, despite media awareness campigns on televisions and radios,” a concerned Afamasaga noted.
The printed reading materials is to encourage an understanding in the young people who read and moreso for pregnant mothers to take serious note.
Child bearing women are discouraged for getting pregnant because they are too many complications if or when they do have child.
All pregnant women in the public service are released from work, under a Cabinet directive, because of the risks they face of picking up the measles virus from others inside the office.
Head of the Public Health, Tagaloa Dr. Robert Thompson, pregnant women are not being vaccinated because of the high risks it poses to them and their unborn child.
They have to wait a day after giving birth to have their measles shots.
“It is important that if you come across pregnant women with the measles, to get them to come to the hospital for treatment,” Tagaloa urged teams who were going out into the villages.
The Ministry’s associate Minister, Salausa Dr. John Ah Ching, estimated between 3000-4000 pregnant women in the country at the moment who are included in the vulnerable groups.
“There are 400 newborn babies inside a month at the TTM Hospital, Motootua or about 2500 in 6 months not including health centres and babies delivered at home to increase the total to more than 3 thousand who are currently at risk,” Salausa calculated.
Stern warning was also given to people who received vaccination shots last week that they are still a risk and they can infect the pregnant mothers.
The Ministry of Women and Community Development are playing an increasingly important role with their direct links to the villages.
The Ministry is expected to play a key role in the final mop up work that are starting to get underway already.