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


Māori and Pacific stand together for their babies

Māori and Pacific stand together for their babies

Too many Māori and Pacific babies are dying and front line staff working with whānau have a real opportunity to make a difference, according to two leading Māori and Pacific organisations for sudden infant death prevention.

The advice from Whakawhetu and TAHA comes as a new report Unintentional suffocation, foreign body inhalation and strangulation is released today by the Child and Youth Mortality Review Committee (CYMRC).

Both organisations welcome the report which highlights the need for culturally appropriate services to be delivered to Māori and Pacific families. The report shows that the rate of death in Māori and Pacific infants is significantly higher than for European babies, which reinforces previous CYMRC recommendations urging the delivery of culturally appropriate messages.

Whakawhetu is a kaupapa Māori service, who focuses on improving service delivery to Māori families, by training front line staff and providing culturally appropriate resources.

“Although we have seen a reduction in infant death over the past 20 years, there is still work to be done to protect our babies from sudden infant death,” says Kodi Hapi, general manager of Whakawhetu.

Dr Teuila Percival of TAHA Well Pacific Mother and Infant Service reinforces the need for tailored information and engaging Māori and Pacific families. “The messenger is just as important as the message itself – the whole family and other carers need to be motivated to apply safe sleeping practices for their infants, and it usually takes a messenger who they trust and who understands their situation. The preventable loss of a single child is one too many. ”

Whakawhetu and TAHA support the recommendations made in the report by CYMRC and reiterates that there is no one solution to this problem.

“We all need to work together so that Māori and Pacific families can make every sleep a safe sleep for their little ones,” comments Kodi Hapi.

She says that while the solution may not be simple, the message is simple. Whakawhetu, with the support of TAHA, have developed an acronym to help front line workers remember the four steps to protect babies from SUDI.

P E P E means baby in both Māori and some Pacific languages and stands for;

1. PLACE baby in their own baby bed, in the same room as a caregiver.
2. ELIMINATE smoking in the pregnancy, in the home and in the car
3. POSITION baby on their back to sleep
4. ENCOURAGE mums to breastfeed.

An easy way to communicate all four steps to families is to simply tell them;

“Back to sleep in baby’s own bed
You’re smoke free and baby’s breast fed.”


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Scoop Review Of Books: Worldly And Unworldly

"Being Magdalene" by Fleur Beale The situations shown in this youth novel are shocking, scary, and very moving as we experience Magdalene’s struggle to be a perfect girl as defined by the cruel and unreasonable leader of “The Children of the Faith”, as she moves reluctantly into young womanhood. More>>

Whistle Stop: Netball NZ To Implement New INF Rules

Netball New Zealand (NNZ) will implement the new Official Rules of Netball, as set down by the International Netball Federation (INF), from January 1, 2016. Key changes include the elimination of whistle following a goal, amendments to injury time and changes to setting a penalty. More>>


Scoop Review Of Books: Waiata Aroha

Vaughan Rapatahana on Chappy by Patricia Grace: With this eminently readable novel Patricia Grace returns to the full-length fiction stage after a hiatus of ten years. More>>

'Ithaca' At Q Theatre: Introducing NZ's World Class Cirque Troupe

NZ’s very own cirque troupe is set to become a household name with the premier of its adaptation of Homer’s Odyssey having secured a key season in Auckland. More>>

Music Awards: The Tuis Are Broody This Year

Topping off a sensationally eventful year both at home and internationally, Nelson born brother-sister duo Broods has taken home four Tuis from this year’s 50th annual Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards. More>>


Sport: Richie McCaw Retires From Rugby

Richie McCaw has today confirmed he is hanging up his boots and retiring from professional rugby. The 34-year-old All Blacks captain and most capped All Black of all time has drawn the curtain on his stunning international career which started in Dublin 14 years ago, almost to the day, and ended in London last month when he hoisted the Webb Ellis Cup aloft for the second time. More>>


John McBeth: On Jonah Lomu

For many New Zealanders, the enormity of Jonah Lomu's reputation will have come as a surprise... His deeds were watched and enthused over by movie stars and musicians, politicians and superstars from other codes. He reached into the lives and homes of millions and mixed with famous people most New Zealanders would only have read about. More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news