On December 29th, 2019, the Samoan government lifted a six-week-long state of emergency that was put in place in response to a deadly measles outbreak. In fact, the epidemic was so severe that the government was forced to shut down all public services for two days in early December.
On Site Gas, in conjunction with one of our partners in Australia, worked to help stop the outbreak by deploying a portable oxygen generator system (POGS) through the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF).
Read on to learn more about how our oxygen generators were used to combat this epidemic.
The Global Measles Resurgence
For decades, measles was widely believed to have been nearly eradicated across the globe. However, in the past few years, many industrialized nations and third world countries have seen a resurgence in the disease.
This highly contagious diseases, known for its rash of flat red spots, can lead to death without prompt and aggressive treatment. In fact, if left untreated, one out of 20 children will contract pneumonia, and one out of 1000 will develop encephalitis (also known as swelling of the brain). This complication often leads to convulsions, loss of hearing, developmental issues, and more.
Samoa’s Measles Epidemic
In early December, the Samoan government began marking unvaccinated households with red flags in an effort to control the measles outbreak, which would go on to infect 5,600 people (with 81 fatalities). On December 5th and 6th, the government shut down public services to focus all attention and resources on the epidemic. The shutdown was also part of a vaccination campaign, which provided immunizations for more than 58,000 people and pushed the country’s vaccination rates towards 95 percent.
Our POGS Unit’s Lifesaving Technology
The POGS 33 unit, an FDA-approved portable generator that delivers 30 liters of oxygen per minute, was deployed to Samoa to help combat the measles epidemic. The system’s primary function is to provide medical oxygen to remote locations and harsh environments. It’s self-contained, easily portable, and requires little to no maintenance, making it an effective tool for use during emergencies. Plus, the unit’s generators can be operated independently or in multiple combinations to provide unlimited oxygen as needed.
On Site Gas’ POGS 33 unit is ideal for field hospitals, as it requires just four people to carry it to its destination. Once set up, the system can be used to fill cylinders, operate medical equipment, and more. Our POGS units can be deployed quickly and easily, without the need for heavy equipment or liquid oxygen deliveries. This is essential for emergencies and other dire situations where time is of the essence.
On Site Gas: A Trusted Choice for Portable Oxygen Generators
Over the years, On Site Gas has built a reputation as a leading source for oxygen generators for a variety of applications. In fact, several US government agencies, including the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) have relied on our equipment for disaster relief and emergency preparedness. On Site Gas generators have even served military field hospitals in Iraq and Afghanistan. The latest deployment to the island of Samoa is sure to save countless lives and aid in the effort to rein in the deadly measles virus.