The Salvation Army has launched an appeal to assist those affected by the measles epidemic in Samoa.
Money raised through The Salvation Army Samoan Measles Epidemic Appeal will directly help families who are caught up in the disease which has mainly infected children and babies.
The Samoan Ministry of Health is predicting the epidemic is yet to reach its peak infection rate, and the death toll may keep rising until the end of December.
Salvation Army regional leaders Lt-Cols Rod and Jenny Carey say the outbreak has affected nearly every family in the island nation, and while health professionals are doing what they can to halt the disease’s spread, the church is providing welfare support to those affected.
Money raised by the appeal will go towards practical assistance in the form of much-needed medical supplies, along with food parcels, water and family assistance including help with funeral costs which have become a tragic reality for many in recent weeks.
Salvation Army churches throughout New Zealand will ask their congregations to dig deep for the cause, and the call is being extended to all New Zealanders.
“This Christmas, Samoa is facing an absolutely terrible situation,” Lt Colonel Rod Carey says.
“Many of these families are facing the worst tragedy at a time when they should be rejoicing.
“‘It is absolutely our Christian responsibility as The Salvation Army to reach out in love and kindness.”