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

 


Rheumatic Fever Rates ‘Causes Of Causes’ Must Be Addressed

Public Health Association media release 19 March 2012

The Public Health Association (PHA) says a new report revealing young Maori are 23 times more likely to suffer acute rheumatic fever than non-Maori lends weight to the Prime Minister’s calls to address rheumatic fever rates in New Zealand. But it also shows government must take action to fix what the World Health Organization calls ‘causes of the causes’ of health problems.

The report, The Health of Maori Children and Young People with Chronic Conditions and Disabilities in New Zealand was released today by the University of Otago. It lists economic inequality, often resulting in childhood poverty, as a root cause of higher hospital admission rates for Maori.

PHA Strategic Advisor, Maori Public Health, Keriata Stuart says the government’s stated goal of identifying and treating rheumatic fever early is laudable but that efforts would be better spent addressing what’s causing health problems in the first place.

“Poor quality, overcrowded housing is known internationally as a major contributor to acute rheumatic fever. This has been confirmed by New Zealand research, and the authors of this latest report have also called for better housing policies.”

However, she says it is clear from the Auckland situation that the private sector can't provide the healthy affordable housing that all our children need.

“We’re calling on the government to produce a national blueprint for healthy housing that will bring together private and public sectors to create better housing conditions. We know that’s a long-term challenge but, as the Prime Minister says, these are important health issues for children, and therefore for all New Zealanders.”

Ms Stuart says New Zealand’s public health community strongly supports the Prime Minister making “a substantial reduction in rheumatic fever cases among children”one of his eight priorities for New Zealand.

“However, the saying ‘Prevention is better than cure’ is as true as ever in this case.

“If we fix problems like inadequate heating and insulation before children get ill, disease rates will fall significantly, improving lives and reducing the burden on the health system.”


Prime Minister John Key revealed his eight priorities in a 15 March speech to the Auckland Chamber of Commerce. They are as follows:

Number one - I expect a reduction in long-term welfare dependency. In particular I want to see a significant drop in the number of people who have been on a benefit for more than 12 months. At the moment about 215,000 people are in that category, and that's far too many.

Number two - I expect to see more young children, and particularly Maori and Pacific children, in early childhood education. That's because all the evidence shows that time spent in early childhood education helps future learning.

Number three - I expect immunisation rates for infants to increase, and I want to see a substantial reduction in rheumatic fever cases among children. These are important health issues for children and were part of our policy at the last election.

Number four - I expect a reduction in the number of assaults on children. Far too many children in New Zealand suffer abuse and assault, and that is simply not acceptable.

Number five - I expect more young people to come through the education system with a solid base of skills, whether they get those at school or at a tertiary institution. So I want to see an increase in the proportion of 18-year-olds with NCEA level 2 or an equivalent qualification. Good progress has been made in this area over the last few years, but I want to see even more.

Number six - I expect to see a more skilled workforce, with an increase in the number of people coming through with advanced trade qualifications, diplomas and degrees.

Number seven - I expect a reduction in the crime rate. And that doesn't just mean total crime, it also means violent crime and it means youth crime. I want to see all these measures coming down.

Number eight - I expect a reduction in the rate of re-offending, from people who are in prison or serving a community-based sentence.

ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Eddie Izzard: UK Comedy Legend Returns

Hailed as one of the foremost stand up comedians of his generation. Star of stage and screen. Tireless supporter of charity. Runner. Political campaigner. Fashion Icon... February 2015, Eddie Izzard will bring his massive FORCE MAJEURE world tour to New Zealand with tickets going on sale at 10am on Tuesday 28th October. More>>

Festival Starts 28 Oct: Improv Fest Makes Up New Show

For any other festival, finding out less than two weeks from showtime that half the cast of a programmed show can’t make it to New Zealand would be a nightmare. Instead, the New Zealand Improv Festival Director Jennifer O’Sullivan saw an opportunity ... More>>

NZ Music Awards Finalists: Lorde, Sol3 Mio Top 2014 Tuis Charge

Lorde has taken the music world by storm during the past year and she co-leads the 2014 Tui charge with five finalist spots. Joining her is newcomer family opera trio, Sol3 Mio. They are followed closely by Ladi6 and David Dallas, both up for four awards each. More>>

From 'Luther' Creator: Major New Zealand Crime Series For BBC

Libertine Pictures and writer Neil Cross have teamed up with leading international TV producer Carnival Films to develop a major new crime series set in Rotorua. Libertine will develop the contemporary drama series with Carnival, producer of internationally-acclaimed British period drama Downton Abbey, for the BBC. More>>

ALSO:

Family Statement: Death Of Ewen Gilmour

“Ewen was a much loved and cherished member of our family, he was a larger than life character and by his very nature was kind, generous and always giving of his time to those who asked for his help." More>>

ALSO:

Auckland: St. Jerome's Laneway Festival - Line-Up Announced

Traversing seven cities and three countries, the festival has well and truly settled into its home in each state. From the grassy knolls and towering silos at home in Auckland, to the sparkling backdrop of the Maribyrnong... More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: No Longer An Island

Simon Nathan reviews 'Zealandia: Our Continent Revealed': The idea that New Zealand is part of a large submerged continent is not new... There was renewed interest in the extent of offshore New Zealand from the 1970s onwards with the start of offshore drilling for oil and gas, and this was given impetus by a UN agreement which allowed countries to claim an Extended Continental Shelf (ECS). More>>

Art: Simon Denny Recreates Kim Dotcom’s Personal Effects

Who owns what? How has the internet changed our relation to the world? These are two of the many questions Simon Denny raises in the latest exhibition at the Adam Art Gallery, opening on Saturday 4 October. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Health
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news