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

 

Sectors must work together to address child health

Health, housing, education sectors must work together to address poor child health

Public Health Association,

26 November 2007

The Public Health Association (PHA) is calling on all social sectors to work together to address the much poorer health of Maori and Pacific children and young people.

PHA Director Dr Gay Keating is making the call following the release by the Paediatric Epidemiology Service and Paediatric Society of Monitoring the Health of Children and Young People: Indicator Handbook. The report shows that Maori and Pacific children and young people, and those living in most deprived areas, have far worse health than children and young people in other groups.

"Despite New Zealand having record low unemployment and strong economic growth, we still have an 'underclass' of children and young people with poorer health. They are more likely than children and young people in other groups to suffer from infectious diseases such as meningococcal disease, rheumatic fever and gastroenteritis; suffer from respiratory diseases such as bronchiolitis and pneumonia; less likely to be immunised; and have higher rates of sexually transmitted infections and teenage pregnancies."

Dr Keating says responsibility for these appalling statistics is shared by a number of agencies, and these agencies need to work together to turn things around.

"We need a major re-think to show we value our children. All sectors - including health, housing, education, work and income and the voluntary sector - need to invest in children and young people so they can achieve their full potential.

"For example, poverty and poor housing experiences now will affect future health. The social conditions of families now can make children sick now and into the future. Respiratory diseases, meningitis and skin infections all flourish when parents can't afford to buy disinfectants, skin dressings and supply clean towels. Disease is more likely in houses that are overcrowded and damp."

To address the frightening picture painted by the report, the PHA is calling for the following action:

- the development and funding of food policies to ensure all families have adequate access to sufficient nourishing food

- the development and funding of housing policies to ensure all New Zealanders have access to adequate housing

- ensuring all children have access to a secure, adequate standard of living, irrespective of the employment/beneficiary status of their parent or guardian

- the development and funding of policies to eliminate racism both within the health and disability system and in our wider community
- the allocation of new or additional health care funding for preventive and early intervention services to reduce the number of avoidable hospital admissions and preventable deaths, to reduce inequalities in health and to improve health overall

- an increase in tobacco taxation to help people to quit smoking. Some of the additional tobacco tax gathered should go into tobacco control programmes.

"This report paints a gloomy picture of poor child health across a number of measures and should be a wake-up call across all social sectors."

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 


Howard Davis: Emerald Fennell's Promising Young Woman'


The Guardian needed not one, but three reviews to do justice to Fennell's unsettling approach, which indicates exactly how ambiguous and controversial its message really is. More>>


Howard Davis: Jill Trevelyan's Rita Angus

Although Angus has become one of Aotearoa’s best-loved painters, the story of her life remained little known and poorly understood before Jill Trevelyan's acclaimed and revelatory biography, which won the Non Fiction Award at the Montana New Zealand Book Awards in 2009, and has now been republished by Te Papa press. More>>

Howard Davis: The Back of the Painting

Painting conservators are the forensic pathologists of the art world. While they cannot bring their subjects back to life, they do provide fascinating insights into the precise circumstances of a painting's creation, its material authenticity, and constructive methodology. More>>


Howard Davis: Black Panthers on the Prowl

A passionate and gripping political drama from Shaka King, this is an informative and instructive tale of human frailty that centers around the charismatic Chicago Black Panther leader Fred Hampton, who was murdered at the age of twenty-one during a police raid. More>>

Howard Davis: Controlling the High Ground

Stephen Johnson's raw and angry film not only poses important questions with scrupulous authenticity, but also provides a timely reminder of the genocidal consequences of casual bigotry and xenophobia. More>>

Howard Davis: Dryzabone - Robert Conolly's The Dry

After the terrible devastation caused by last year’s bushfires, which prompted hundreds of Australians to shelter in the ocean to escape incineration and destroyed uncountable amounts of wildlife, The Dry has been released during a totally different kind of dry spell. More>>


Howard Davis: Hit the Road, Jack - Chloé Zhao's Nomadland

Nomadland is perhaps the ultimately 'road' movie as it follows a group of dispossessed and disenfranchised vagabonds who find a form of communal refuge in camp sites and trailer parks after the economic contraction of 2008. More>>

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • CULTURE
  • HEALTH
  • EDUCATION
 
 
  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland