Vaccination and Travel Information for Samoa

SAMOA

 Information current as at:  february 2009 by The D2 medical centre No1 Fitzwilliam Street Upper Dublin 2 ph 6314500. The experts in travel vaccines Dublin 2.  


Climate: Samoa has a warm, tropical climate tempered by trade winds from May to September. Temperatures remain relatively constant throughout the year, but tend to become cooler at night. 2500 hours of sunshine annually. Rainfall is heaviest between December and April. Sea temperatures rarely fall below 24°C.
Capital City: Apia
Altitude: At sea level
Main Cities: Asau, Malifanua, Salelologa
Population: 178,800 ( 2003 est.)
Land Area (sq km): 2,935
Currency: 1 tala = 100 sene
Languages: English Samoan
Religions: Christian, Hindu
Economy: Agriculture, manufacturing, remittances, tourism



The D2 Medical advises all travellers to be 'up-to-date' for:

CHOLERA Immunisation is neither required nor routinely recommended
DIPHTHERIA We recommend the initial childhood series of vaccinations in the first five years of life, with booster doses at ages 11 years, 45 years, and 65 years. Travellers are recommended to have the vaccine 10 yearly esp. if travelling to developing countries, or where there may be a risk of contracting the disease.

HEPATITIS 'A' Immunisation is strongly recommended but not compulsory.


HEPATITIS 'B' Immunisation is recommended for travellers who will be in the area for 1 month or more.
Transmission of Hepatitis B is through sex or contact with contaminated blood, needles and syringes.


JAP.B.ENCEPHALITIS Immunisation is neither required nor recommended.
POLIO Adults who are travelling to areas where poliomyelitis cases are occurring, or where the contracting the disease is possible, and who have received a primary series with either IPV or OPV should receive another dose of IPV before departure. For adults, available data do not indicate the need for more than a single lifetime booster dose with IPV.


RABIES Immunisation is neither required nor recommended.
TUBERCULOSIS (TB) Immunisation is not compulsory, and is not recommended for adults.
Children should be immunised at any age.
A skin test is available if immune status is in doubt.

TETANUS We recommend the initial childhood series of vaccinations in the first five years of life, with booster doses at ages 11 years, 45 years, and 65 years. Travellers are recommended to have the vaccine 10 yearly esp. if travelling to developing countries, or where there may be a risk of contracting the disease.

TYPHOID FEVER Typhoid may occur. Immunisation is recommended for travel periods of more than 1 month.


YELLOW FEVER A Yellow Fever vaccination certificate is required from international travellers over 1 year of age coming from infected areas.





Malaria is not present in any area of this country.




GENERAL
Though medical facilities in Samoa are limited, they are good by Pacific standards. Nevertheless, the range of drugs available is limited and modern equipment is in short supply. The city of Apia has hospitals with emergency and outpatient facilities. Local residents and visitors with serious medical problems are often referred to New Zealand for treatment. As medical or dental evacuation can be very expensive, all travellers to the region are recommended to purchase travel health insurance. Doctors and hospitals often expect immediate cash payment for health services.

HEALTH, ACCIDENTS AND INSURANCE
Accidents and injuries are the leading cause of death among travellers under the age of 55. Most are caused by motor vehicle and motorcycle crashes; and to a lesser degree, drowning, aircraft crashes, murders, and burns.

Heart attacks cause most fatalities in older travellers, but infections cause only 1% of fatalities in overseas travellers. Generally, infections are the most common cause of travel-related illness.

Travellers are advised to obtain, before departure, travel health insurance with specific overseas coverage. The policy should include a medical evacuation benefit. Check for any exclusions that are part of the policy, and keep in mind that many insurance policies have terrorism exclusion clauses. The D2 medical recommends that the policy also provide 24-hour access to an assistance centre that can help arrange and monitor delivery of medical care, and determine if air ambulance services are required.

                                                                                                                                                               DR JOHN J RYAN MEDICAL DIRECTOR

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