News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search

 

Prevention and partnership key to child health

27 October 2003

Prevention and partnership key to better child health

Early intervention, prevention and community connection are all key to successful child health statistics in New Zealand, but will only work with sufficient funding, says Plunket chief executive Paul Baigent.

Addressing the organisation's annual general meeting in Wellington today, Mr Baigent and Plunket's New Zealand President, Kaye Crowther, both urged that more be done to support families in need in this country and to build stronger, community networks.

"We are not doing well enough for children in New Zealand. There is still too much family violence, insufficient pre-school education and worrying levels of child hospital admissions and mortalities," said Mr Baigent.

"While Plunket plays a leading role in building stronger families and communities, it cannot do it alone. Partnerships are the key to ensuring that every child has access to quality well child services," he said.

Mr Baigent acknowledged the work being done by the Ministry of Social Development to develop a Strategy for Families and welcomed the collaborative input of non-government organisations and government agencies.

"We at Plunket are very pleased to be part of the development team. We all firmly believe that this integrated, cross-sectoral, holistic approach is critical and we urge Government to adopt the Family Services Outcomes Framework and the Strategy for Families."

The increased level of funding for Plunket this year earned praise from Mr Baigent, who said the government contract for 2003/04 "represented a very significant milestone for well child health."

"We began the 21st century with a strategy to strengthen our leadership and advocacy for young children and their families. It is pleasing to see progress on those goals with the increased investment in well child health," he said.

Plunket's New Zealand President, Kaye Crowther, echoed Mr Baigent's comments, but warned against complacency, saying "much of the shift in thinking has been born out of horror at this country's ongoing litany of child abuse and neglect."

"The 2003 review of Child, Youth and Family found that the only way to halt the ever-increasing demand for its services and to better protect our children is to invest much more heavily in prevention and early intervention. Without a doubt, the place to start is the home," said Mrs Crowther.

In the past year, Plunket Nurses, Plunket Kaiawhina and Community Karitane made 235,000 home visits.

"Our staff were welcomed into people's homes because they are a crucial means of support providing advice for new parents on any of the issues that arise with young babies," she said.

Plunket's data shows that it had almost 480,000 face-to-face contacts with young children and their families during the year - 50,000 more contacts than the previous year. There was a significant increase in service to first-time parents and those in areas of high deprivation and a similar increase was achieved for Maori and Pacific clients.

ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 
Legendary Bassist David Friesen Plays Wellington’s Newest Jazz Venue

Friesen is touring New Zealand to promote his latest album Another Time, Another Place, recorded live at Auckland's Creative Jazz Club in 2015. More>>

Howard Davis Review: The Father - Descending Into The Depths of Dementia

Florian Zeller's dazzling drama The Father explores the effects of a deeply unsettling illness that affects 62,000 Kiwis, a number expected to grow to 102,000 by 2030. More>>


Howard Davis Review: Blade Runner Redivivus

When Ridley Scott's innovative, neo-noir, sci-fi flick Blade Runner was originally released in 1982, at a cost of over $45 million, it was a commercial bomb. More>>

14-21 October: New Zealand Improv Festival In Wellington

Imagined curses, Shibuya’s traffic, the apocalypse, and motherhood have little in common, but all these and more serve as inspiration for the eclectic improvised offerings coming to BATS Theatre this October for the annual New Zealand Improv Festival. More>>

ALSO:

Bird Of The Year Off To A Flying Start

The competition asks New Zealanders to vote for their favourite bird in the hopes of raising awareness of the threats they face. More>>

Scoop Review Of Books:
K Emma Ng's Old Asian, New Asian

This book, written by a young second-generation Chinese New Zealander, gives many examples of the racism that Asian New Zealanders experience. More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • CULTURE
  • HEALTH
  • EDUCATION