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Hapai Te Hauora Celebrates Safe Sleep Day 2024

Today marks National Safe Sleep Day - Te Rā Mokopuna with Hāpai Te Hauora leading the integrated approach to raise awareness and reduce the numbers of whānau affected by Sudden Unexpected Deaths in Infants (SUDI).

Chief Executive of Hāpai, the largest Māori Public Health organisation in Aotearoa, Jacqui Harema said the colder months are when people need to be extra vigilant.


"The risk of SUDI occurring increases during winter so we are actively working with local co-ordinators and experts in this area to promote best practices. We need to reduce our numbers because sadly between 40 and 60 babies die from SUDI every year across the country. Our vision is to support whānau and decrease the frequency of SUDI across our communities with a national, coherent approach".

SUDI is the leading cause of preventable deaths for pēpi aged 28 days to one year, with most occurring between two months and four months of age. Māori and Pacific infants have consistently higher rates of SUDI compared to non-Māori and non-Pacific infants.

General Manager of the National SUDI Prevention Coordination Service, Fay Selby-Law knows today is an opportunity to highlight every sleep being safe for babies.

"We have midwives and child birth educators promoting and advising whānau on secure safe sleep practices like breastfeeding, immunisations and dressing pēpi in natural fibres that keep them warm. We also run Te Whare Pora o Hine-te-iwa-iwa, a mobile wānanga wahakura across Tāmaki Makaurau to support whānau make their own wahakura for sleeping".

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Hāpai Te Hauora have several resources including mobile app Whakamānawatia Ngā Mokopuna, a SUDI prevention and awareness educational resource.

Next Tuesday and Wednesday Hāpai are holding a wānanga for the SUDI prevention sector and Tobacco control sector (recognising the link between smoking and SUDI) Whiria Te Hauora Protecting Every Breath, to update them in research, clinical practice, community engagement and Te Āo Māori.

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