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Research focus on improving Maori health outcomes

Research focus on improving Maori health outcomes

Research to address cardiovascular disease (CVD) in M a ori is among several new
Maori health research contracts announced by the Health Research Council of New
Zealand (HRC) today.

The HRC is the principal Government agency responsible for funding health
research in New Zealand.

There is a major disparity between M a ori and non-Maori in cardiovascular mortality and few prevalence and incidence studies of CVD have been undertaken in the community.

Mrs Suzanne Pitama, working with Professor Mark Richards from the Christchurch
School of Medicine and Health Sciences at the University of Otago, will lead a study which focuses on monitoring CVD risk in Maori.

Participants from two diverse Maori communities, Ngati Kahungunu ki Wairoa in
Hawkes Bay, and Ngai Tahu ki Waitaha in Canterbury, will help to identify objective markers for CVD risk in M a ori. This will include documenting the implementation of treatment programmes, interventions and outcomes of the participants.

Meanwhile, Ms Kirsten Smiler at Victoria University is focusing on interventions for deaf and hearing impaired Maori children.

In 2002, 49 per cent of children diagnosed with deafness were Maori. Current
interventions have been based on medically informed assumptions about disability
and input from deaf community groups and Maori organisations have been minimal.


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