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Funding extended for Pacific health projects

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Associate Health Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has announced extended funding to continue projects which are already improving the health and wellbeing of Pacific people.

"With initial funding from the $6m Pacific Innovation Fund several Pacific providers developed tailored solutions to improve health and wellbeing. One example is the Tapuaki pregnancy and parenting programme," Mr Lotu-Iiga says.

"It is primarily designed for Pacific women and their families. It gives phone-based maternity, child-health education and support through a smart-phone app in 8 Pacific languages. The Tapuaki website is the first of its kind in the world and has attracted interest from providers in the United States and Brazil."

"We asked all the original providers how they could expand and improve their programmes. They came back to us with a range of great ideas and we have now put another $500,000 towards the development of those projects."

"Extending the funding means the projects can help more Pacific people. The benefits will extend over their lifetimes and between generations," Mr Lotu-Iiga says.

Summary of projects:

Tapuaki programme (TAHA)

Tapuaki is a pregnancy and parenting education programme with tools and resources to improve health literacy and ensure services are culturally appropriate. There were more than 31,400 web page views. Over 350 Pacific people took part in workshops and users downloaded the app more than 1,200 times.

Prevention of Obesity programme (Pacific Health Service Hutt Valley)

The objective of this programme was to support families to understand the lifelong implications of obesity. Families were equipped with knowledge and a tool kit to mitigate and prevent obesity. Well over 80 families and 200 children were impacted positively through exercise and nutrition classes. These were held in their churches, and during after-school and holiday programs.

Youth Project utilising the Diabetes Study (Pacific Trust Otago)

The Pacific Trust Otago has a focus on BMI and nutrition. The study confirmed this approach was appropriate to the needs of the Pacific community. It also confirmed that greater Pacific identity and increased wellbeing is associated with lower rates of depressive symptoms and emotion difficulties. More than 250 Pacific students took part in the study and providers are now using it to develop a range of other helpful interventions.

Pacific Model of Care project (Alliance Health Plus)

Based in Mangere, Auckland, this project focuses on supporting Pacific youth (17 - 24 years) to become actively engaged in their health and wellbeing. More than 900 young people were involved in a youth-led social network, a suite of targeted activities and the development of a ‘self-help’ e-tool.

E Sili Le Puipuia (Prevention is Better) project (ATAMU EFKS Porirua Incorporated)

This child and youth-focused project aims to reduce risk factors affecting Pacific people’s health, such as obesity and smoking. It delivers a range of initiatives such as vegetable gardening and Zumba classes, delivered in home and church settings. Nearly 700 signed up for Zumba classes. 7 ECE centres have started vegetable gardens and a number of Pacific churches are promoting other public health initiatives.

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