Lt Gov. Josh Green has assembled more than 75 people, including 50 nurses, doctors and other Hawaii health care workers for an emergency medical mission to Samoa to help vaccinate residents amid the measles epidemic sweeping across the region.
Hawaiian Airlines, The Queen’s Medical Center, Hawaii Healthcare Emergency Management and Air Med International/Hawaii Life Flight are sending medical supplies and personnel to treat patients in Apia, Samoa, which has reported 3,881 cases of measles and 55 related deaths as of this morning.
Air Med has offered its long-range air ambulance on Oahu to bring patients to Hawaii if needed.
“It’s a humanitarian crisis. Five kids are dying a day. I don’t think anybody wants to standby and let that continue to happen,” said Dr. James Ireland, who works with Hawaii Life Flight. “These are children so I think people have a strong sense of wanting to help and I think there’s an urgency.”