This map is an approximation of actual country borders.

Samoa is a Pacific island state comprising two main islands, Savaii and Upolu, plus several smaller islands. It lies about half way between Hawaii and New Zealand and has a land area of around 2842 square kilometers. Its main economic activities are tourism, fishing and agriculture. At the time of the 2006 census, the population was 180 741. It is reasonable to assume the population has grown only slightly over the past five years due to emigration. In terms of gross domestic product, Samoa is placed among lower and middle-income countries. THe Human Development Index 2011 ranks Samoa 99 out of 187 countries.

The greatest health threat to Samoa is the ongoing increase in noncommunicable diseases brought on by obesity, inactivity and diets reich in fat, salt and sugar. Diabetes mellitus has been the leading cause of death or among the leading causes of death reported by public health facilities in all years from FY 2005-2006 to FY 2009-2010. Morbidity comparisons during the same period also indicate a rapid increase in noncommunicable diseases: diabetes mellitus cases doubled from 264 to 523, and pneumonia cases almost doubled from 789 to 1506 cases.

Western Samoa was assigned to the Western Pacific Region at the Sixth World Health Assembly held in May 1953 ''without prejudice to any questions regarding sovereignty'' as an area. Western Samoa joined the World Health Organization on 16 May 1962 as a Member State after gaining its independence from New Zealand on 1 January 1962. From 1946 to 1961, Western Samoa was administered by New Zealand under a United Nations Trusteeship Agreement. In July 1997, the Constitution was amended to change the country’s name from Western Samoa to Samoa (officially the “Independent State of Samoa”).

The WHO Representative Office in the South Pacific covered Samoa from 1956 to 1968, the designation of a WHO Country Liaison Office in Apia. On 1 October 1986, the WHO Representative Office in Apia, Samoa was established and covers the American Samoa, Cook Islands, Niue, Samoa and Tokelau.

Yang, Dr Baoping

The WHO Representative in Samoa, American Samoa, Cook Islands, Niue and Tokelau : Yang, Dr Baoping

WHO Country Office

Office address:

Ioane Viliamu Building Beach Road Apia Western Samoa

Postal address:

P.O. Box 77 Apia, Western Samoa

Telephone number:

(685) 24-976 (direct line)
(685) 23-756
(685) 23-757

Fax number:

(685) 23-765

Office hours:

08.00 - 12.00 13.00 - 17.00 (Monday to Friday)



Ministry of Health


Motootua P.O Box 2268, Apia, Samoa

Telephone number:
(685) 23330 or 21212 ext 502

Fax number:

(685) 26553



Additional information

Ministry of Health Annual Report 2002/2003 & 2003/2004 & 2005/2006



Population (in thousands) ( 2010 ) 184.03
Population aged 5-14 years (%) ( 2010 ) 25.71
Life expectancy at birth (years) ( 2006 ) 73.2
Under-five mortality rate (per 1000 live births) ( 2009 ) 15
Total health expenditure as % of GDP ( 2009 ) 7
General government health expenditure as % of total government expenditure ( 2009 ) 15.9
Human development index ( 2007 ) 0.77
Per capita GDP at current market prices (US$) ( 2010 ) 2881.81
Population below national poverty line (%) not available
Literacy rate among adults aged >= 15 years (%) ( 2002 ) 98.7
Maternal mortality ratio (per 100 000 live births) ( 2006 ) 3
Proportion of the population using improved drinking water source ( 2006 ) 88
Population using improved sanitation facilities (%) ( 2008 ) 100