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PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (PINA, March 31) - The United States
government will provide American Samoa $1.15 million this year to help the U.S.
territory prepare against terrorism or other public health emergencies.

The funding is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human
Services’ $1.4 billion bioterrorism aid to states, territories and freely
associated states.

Department Secretary Tommy Thompson announced the distribution
of the funding in a statement from Washington, D.C.

Additionally, Thompson announced special provisions that would
allow participants to obtain up to 20 percent of their funding immediately to
support current activities. This includes smallpox vaccinations for selected
health workers.

Total funding to be provided for American Samoa is $1,154,824
with $553,313 for public health systems preparedness and $601,511 for hospital

Thompson said the agency is rapidly getting federal funding for
public health preparedness into the hands of states/territories and hospitals.

"Together, we’ve made strong progress in the past year to
strengthen our public health systems, but this remains an ongoing
endeavor," said Thompson.

"We will continue to work with our state and local partners
to enhance our readiness and our ability to respond to public health
emergencies. Our combined efforts will result in a stronger public health system
to care for Americans in emergencies, whether it be an outbreak of the flu or a
biological incident," he said.

April 1, 2003

Pacific Islands News Association: 

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