Whanau Ora Needs Assessment Reveals Major Health Disparities
Whanau Ora Needs Assessment Reveals Major Health Disparities For Taranaki Maori
A Whanau Ora Health Needs Assessment undertaken on behalf of the Taranaki District Health Board, of Maori living in Taranaki, evidences that much more needs to be done to improve access to health services at all levels for Maori in the Taranaki region, particularly at the primary health care level.
“Much more needs to be done to improve the health and access to health services at all levels for Maori in the Taranaki region,” Dr Mihi Ratima told the Public Health Association’s annual conference in New Plymouth today.
“There are substantial ethnic inequalities in health between Maori and non-Maori living in Taranaki, as measured by life expectancy, avoidable mortality, and self-reported health status. For Maori in the Taranaki Region, the leading causes of avoidable mortality are ischaemic heart disease, lung cancer, diabetes, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
“The leading causes of avoidable hospitalisation in Maori are angina and chest pain, asthma, dental conditions and respiratory infections. The leading causes of ambulatory sensitive hospitalisation among Maori children and young people are dental conditions, asthma and respiratory infections such as pneumonia. These leading causes differ between Maori and non-Maori, indicating that priorities for intervention will differ between the two population groups.
“Key areas for action include continuing to strengthen the capacity and capability of Maori health providers and the Maori health workforce, and further work to address priority health conditions – diabetes, cardiovascular disease, lung cancer, breast cancer, respiratory disease, oral health, mental health and disability.
“The Whanau Ora Health Needs Assessment has been used not only by the health sector but also by other partners to inform priority actions to support the achievement of Whanau Ora for Maori living in Taranaki.
“Health promotion and preventative care is particularly important in relation to smoking, alcohol and drug issues, breastfeeding, immunisation, breast screening and cervical screening.”