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

 

Community approach needed to address Pacific health decline

Community approach needed to address Pacific health decline

Unless Pacific communities are consulted on health policy, Pacific health will continue to deteriorate, a Victoria University of Wellington academic warns.

Dr Aliitasi Su’a Tavila from Victoria’s Health Services Research Centre, says New Zealand’s health statistics confirm that the Pacific population is at risk.

“The health of the Pacific population has been lagging behind others in New Zealand for the last 60 years and it looks set to get worse unless we do things differently,” she says.

As an academic health researcher, Dr Su’a Tavila offers a non-medical perspective, which indicates that the issues reach beyond the medical model of care.

Taking into consideration Pacific people’s unique world view, she suggests a robust partnership amongst health professionals, policy makers and the community is the right approach to ensure health priorities are achieved.

“Unless communities agree and strategise for themselves then we are only perpetuating what has failed in the past,” says Dr Su’a Tavila.

Dr Su’a Tavila undertook her postdoctoral research internationally where she analysed and examined other Pacific nations’ health strategies to identify barriers and gaps which may contribute to the declining health of the Pacific population globally. One of the key issues Dr Su’a Tavila looked at was the availability of data to support health strategies for Pacific peoples.

“There is often a lack of such information, yet it is a really important part of any strategies to improve health,” she says.

Dr Su’a Tavila recently completed a five-week fellowship at the University of Hawai‘i to examine the health strategies of native Hawaiians. She says the University’s Department of Native Hawaiian Health had established a successful partnership with the wider community, focused on the prevention of non-communicable diseases.

One of the highlights of her fellowship was her introduction to the MA‘O Organic Farm. This farm offers a variety of community-based and education programmes for young people and adults. Its strategic focus is to address five main aspects of its local population’s welfare and wellbeing: out-of-school youth, sustainable economic development, agriculture, health and Hawaiian culture.

The uniqueness of the MA‘O Organic Farm initiative was the reintegration and re-establishment of the local community through family-based activities, nurturing and growing their youth and their families within an environment of communal ownership and pride. Dr Su’a Tavila believes this initiative could be introduced in New Zealand as a pilot programme to help address many social issues around Pacific and non-Pacific population.

“Involving the community made a difference and increased the native people’s willingness to participate in the health programme,” she says.


ends


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

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: Benjamin Ree's The Painter and The Thief

The Norwegian filmmaker had long been fascinated by art thieves who commit high-stakes crimes with a delicate touch when a chance Google search in 2015 uncovered a botched heist in Oslo. More>>


Howard Davis: Anna Coddington Beams

Anna Coddington's thin, wispy vocals fit her songs beautifully, providing a wonderful lilting quality that pervades her latest album, producing instant ear worms. 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>>

Howard Davis: Byrneing Down the House - Spike Lee's American Utopia

Lee does an admirable job capturing Byrne's stunning live performance of his latest album, but the real star of the show is the staging. More>>


Howard Davis: The Phoenix Foundation Friend Ship Tour Docks in Wellington

A sense of local pride was certainly running high at the Opera House on Saturday night, as the lads ran through a tasty little set drawn mostly from their latest album Friend Ship (splash out for Xmas on the shocking pink extra-thick vinyl edition). More>>


Howard Davis: Avantdale Bowling Club

Auckland rapper and MC Tom Scott brought his stunning jazz-infused Taite Music Prize-winning project Avantdale Bowling Club to the Opera House headlining Wellington's 2020 Jazz Festival. More>>

Howard Davis: Troy Kingi Rules The San Fran

The award-winning Northland musician performed songs from his new record The Ghost of Freddie Cesar, the fourth installment in his 10/10/10 series - ten albums in ten years in ten genres. More>>

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

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