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Māori children fall further behind with respiratory health

1 September 2011

Māori children fall further behind with respiratory health

The gap between Māori and non-Māori asthma has widened, and the recession has contributed to more hospital admissions for respiratory diseases in children, it was announced at the New Zealand Respiratory Conference today.

Professor Innes Asher, Paediatrician from The University of Auckland told a 120-strong audience of health professionals at the Michael Fowler Centre in Wellington the news in an address about ISAAC (The International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood), the biggest epidemiological research project involving children ever undertaken, involving more than 2 million children in 105 countries.

More Māori children have asthma than non-Māori children and their asthma is more severe, Prof Asher says.

She says that tackling social determinants of health such as housing and reducing the costs of doctor’s visits and asthma medicines were essential to tackling the problem.

The Chief Executive of the Asthma Foundation, Angela Francis, says that the Foundation supports the findings and on the basis of this statement today is renewing its commitment to prioritise Māori respiratory health.

“This is a significant day for our organsiation and respiratory health for Māori in New Zealand.”

The conference finishes tomorrow afternoon.


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