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

 


Midlands Marae to Receive Safe Sleep Devices

Media Release
Date: 16 April 2014

Midlands Marae to Receive Safe Sleep Devices

The sad tale of the death of a five-month Wellington baby of Sudden Unexpected Death in Infancy (SUDI) reported this morning is the exact reason iwi in the Midland Region are being issued safe sleep devices.

An infant died tragically in the same way at a Ngati Haua marae (Kai a te Mata marae) in 2011, meaning that Ngati Haua and Hauraki be the first iwi to receive the sleep devices from Waikato District Health Board in a Midland Region roll-out to marae.

Waikato DHB’s Maori Health Service (Te Puna Oranga) general manager Ditre Tamatea said the death highlighted the need for the safe sleep model his team have developed and rolled out through 25 different partnerships throughout the Midland Region.

The devices going into marae are called pepi-pods and wahakura. The pepi-pod is a portable baby sized bed and includes a cover, fitted mattress, sheets and a merino blanket. The wahakura is the same concept, but made of natural materials; namely flax.

The beds are designed for safe co-sleeping of parents and their babies.

“SUDI particularly impacts Maori with approximately 80 per cent of the babies in New Zealand who die from it, being of Maori heritage,” said Mr Tamatea.

A recent report released by Change for Children has highlighted that SUDI rates within the five Midland DHBs (Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Lakes, Tairawhiti and Taranaki) has dropped to a similar level to other regions which do not have the same proportion of high needs babies being born.

While Mr Tamatea said the introduction of pepi-pods can’t be pinpointed as the reason for the declining rates, he believes it has contributed and says the safe sleep efforts being made by various agencies throughout New Zealand are making a difference, regardless.

Waikato DHB clinical midwife specialist Alys Brown said babies most at risk of SUDI are the target to receive these devices. They are those who are:

• exposed to smoke during pregnancy
• born at a low birth weight
• Maori and Pacific
• born before 36 weeks gestation; and
• from households where there is drug and alcohol use.

Te Puna Oranga has led the Pepi-Pod Programme in Waikato, in conjunction with the Midland Maternity Action Group, and has worked in partnership with the other DHBs across the Midland area.

Te Runanga o Kirikiriroa is one of the organisations contracted by Waikato DHB to distribute wahakura and they have held a series of wananga at local marae about safe sleep; the latest of which was last month at Matai Whetu marae in Thames.

They are leaving wahakura behind at each marae as they go, if they’re needed.

“We are taking an ora (wellbeing) approach, a whanau approach, a holistic approach that looks after the wellbeing of the mother, the baby and other family members as well,” said Te Runanga Smokefree coach Reweti Hapi.

Mr Reweti said the health messages of the wananga are clear:

• Sleep babies face up and face clear
• The importance of breastfeeding
• Smokefree homes and environments
• The importance of immunisation
• Gentle handling of infants and children
• The benefits of having babies sleep in their parents’ room for the first six months of their lives

Renowned weaver, creator of wahakura and supporter of safe sleep Betty Brown, said the practice of raranga (weaving) is an old one and a focus of the wananga is also handing down the whakapapa, those skills and traditions – with the ultimate goal to protect all babies.

“Safe sleep practices need to become the norm in the long-term but in the short-term, we are focusing on our high risk whanau,” said Mr Tamatea.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Fringe Review: Rossum’s Universal Robots

Written in 1920 by Karel Capek in a newly independent Czechoslovakia, its prophetic tale of artificial intelligence, automata and human morality was initially a big hit, but it then vanished from view, in New Zealand at least, before being revived in Hamilton last year. More>>

SELECT FRINGE SHOWS:

Pictures Of Media: Call For Photographs For Reimagining Journalism

In August this year Freerange Press is launching its next big book. This time we are gathering the best writers and thinkers in the country to look at the changing media landscape in New Zealand. To illuminate and give voice to the writing we want to include around 25 excellent photos. We want these photos to document the different aspects of how journalism is made, how it used to be, and how it is changing. More>>

Safer Internet Day: Keeping Safe Online More Important Than Ever

Tuesday 9 February marks Safer Internet Day. Safer Internet Day is designed to create awareness about the importance of Internet safety and encourages positive use of technology - with a strong focus on young people. More>>

ALSO:

We Have The Technology: Zephyrometer Up And Moving

“The needle’s stoppers had to be repaired because of the extra impact caused by the balance not being correct. We also added an extra 300kgs counter-balance – made from zinc coated steel triangle plates. These adjustments will now stop it bending low over the road in high winds.” More>>

ALSO:

Waitangi Day: Treaty Of Waitangi - Found In Translation

To celebrate the Society of Translators and Interpreters's 30th anniversary, over 90 translators will work together to translate the English and Māori versions of the Treaty of Waitangi into 30 languages... More>>

ALSO:

Northland Development: Trust Applauds $4m Government Funding For Art Centre

Today's announcement of central government support, made by Minister of Economic Development Steven Joyce, provides a key step forward in funding for Whangarei’s Hundertwasser Art Centre & Wairau Maori Art Gallery. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Health
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news