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© UNICEF/Allan Stephen

UN supporting Samoa’s battle against deadly measles outbreak

UN agencies are assisting authorities in Samoa as they battle a measles outbreak which has killed more than 60 people, mainly babies.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has flown in emergency medical teams from across the globe who are working alongside local colleagues in a mass inoculation campaign using vaccines supplied by the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

The UN also is supporting a national awareness campaign aimed at rebuilding trust following the deaths last year of two babies during routine vaccinations.

Vanuatu Helicopters/2017/Andy Martin

Funding and support needed to protect Pacific cultural heritage: UNESCO expert

A village and cemetery in Vanuatu connected to a chief who ruled four centuries ago are an example of Pacific Island heritage that must be protected, according to an official with the UN cultural agency, UNESCO, in the region.

Akatsuki Takahashi, a UNESCO Culture Specialist based in Samoa, was in Australia recently to attend a symposium held by Blue Shield, a non-governmental international organization described as a kind of “Red Cross” for culture.