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Taking the Pulse of NZ Child and Youth Health

Media Release –

Taking the Pulse of NZ Child and Youth Health:
Monday 26 November, 2007

In a first for New Zealand, information from many sectors and non-government organisations has been combined to produce a set of child and youth health indicators and reports which highlight factors influencing health, and indicating opportunities for early intervention.

The two reports, commissioned by the Ministry of Health in 2006, were the result of extensive international and national reviews, and involved considerable consultation and collection of data across many sectors that had not been brought together before. These reports will be released at the Paediatric Society of New Zealand Conference on Monday November 26.

Dr Nick Baker, President of the Paediatric Society of New Zealand said, “This is the first time New Zealand has had such a comprehensive framework to monitor and evaluate the health of children and young people who make up a third of our population. Over time there has been a large number of one off, and limited edition publications on the health status of our children and youth’ however no one agency or organisation has been responsible for collating all the variable information into a logical format.”

"This large body of work pulled together many “jigsaw pieces” of information to create a picture of child and youth health status in NZ. It also highlighted factors that shaped health status, and showed where there were opportunities for improvement through early intervention," said Dr Baker.

"The overall picture painted by this work is not a pretty one. A concerted investment in our children and young people from many sectors and organisations is essential now," he said.

The reports highlighted the importance of factors that were beyond the direct control of the health sector. It also showed that all sectors needed to consider the impact of their actions on children and young people and work to enhance the environment in which children and young people grow to enable them to achieve to their potential.

The documents ‘Monitoring the Health of New Zealand Children and Young People; A Literature Review and Framework Development’ and the companion document the ‘Indicator Framework’ is launched by the New Zealand Child and Youth Epidemiology Service and will be available on http://www.paediatrics.org.nz/

ENDS

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