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Push to distribute respiratory resources into rural communities

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

This week, Asthma and Respiratory Foundation NZ (ARFNZ) are distributing more than 26,000 free resources to rural and isolated communities or those deemed to have increased rates of respiratory disease.

Asthma and other respiratory conditions disproportionately affect Māori and Pacific communities in New Zealand with 66% of total respiratory related deaths attributed to these ethnicities.

"We know that improving health literacy and access to targeted information such as online, in print, or in-person, is imperative to reducing inequities and empowering people to self-manage their own respiratory health," says Letitia Harding, Chief Executive, ARFNZ.

Unhealthy living conditions and poverty are both major contributing factors to these statistics, with about one in three Māori and Pacific people living in cold, damp and mouldy homes.

A Ministry of Social Development (MSD) grant enabled ARFNZ to send the resources to 120 rural, iwi and Pasifika Health Centres, 120 early childhood education providers (ECEs) and 79 Māori medium primary schools.

Resources include asthma self-management plans for both adults and children, Healthy Homes posters, asthma and allergies information booklets, and children’s asthma picture books.

"Access to health education should not be a barrier to healthcare, and we hope that these resources are beneficial to the communities that need them the most" says Letitia.

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