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Health Resources Reduce Barriers For Samoan Community

This week, Aotearoa celebrates Samoan Language Week, Vaiaso o le Gagana Samoa. The theme is Poupou le lotoifale, ola manuia le anofale, which means ‘strengthen the posts of your house, for all to thrive’.

"Over the last year, the Asthma and Respiratory Foundation NZ (ARFNZ) has worked on strengthening the respiratory health of the Samoan community, by translating all of our key resources into Samoan," says Joanna Turner, Research and Education Manager at ARFNZ. "This has given the Samoan community better access to the information and tools needed to manage their respiratory health."

Asthma and Respiratory Foundation resources now produced in Samoan include the COPD Action Plan, Child and Adult Asthma Action Plans, the Child Asthma Symptom Diary and a comprehensive booklet titled Managing your Child’s Asthma.

"Asthma has a large prevalence within our schools and communities, especially among Māori and Pacific populations," says Joanna. "These communities have historically been quite difficult to reach. Our hope is that, by removing a potential language barrier, we can encourage more Pasifika people to engage with their respiratory health. This is pivotal to our goal of reducing respiratory illness in the Pasifika community."

"Our Impact of Respiratory Disease Report showed that across all age groups, hospitalisation rates for respiratory disease are very high for Pacific peoples," adds ARFNZ Chief Executive Letitia Harding. "Bronchiectasis and childhood pneumonia mortality rates in particular were found to be higher for Pacific peoples than for any other ethnicities. This inequality is unacceptable, and we’re proud of the work we’re doing to inform and empower the Pasifika community."

ARFNZ’s key resources are now translated into Samoan, Te Reo Māori and Simplifed Chinese. Funding has been secured to translate the resources into Tongan, and this project is now under way.

You can access all of the ARFNZ respiratory health resources at

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