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Maori Children Neglected In Health Services - Leaders

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Maori Children Neglected In Health Services - Leaders

Wellington, Sept 24 NZPA - Maori children do not have enough health and social services devoted specifically to them and are suffering because of it, Maori leaders say.

Maori health services tended to be adult-centric and focused on services like smokefree, diabetes and mental health because that was where the funding was, Maori child organisation Te Kahui Mana Ririki director Anton Blank told the Public Health Association's annual conference in Ngaruawahia today.

"Government priorities have created this situation and this is a major concern because we have high rates of child abuse and child maltreatment."

Mr Blank's comments were supported by Maori sudden infant death syndrome (sids) general manager Kodi Hapi. "Over 60 percent of sids deaths in this country are Maori. The whanau of these babies are isolated from services and health professionals," Mr Hapi said.

"We both aim to improve the health and wellbeing of very young Maori. We need to work together and develop strategies for reaching Maori whanau with our messages about good parenting," Mr Hapi said.

Mr Blanks said ultimately the Government needed to increase investment in services which focused on the early years.

"In the meantime, we will work to increase awareness of the needs of young ones with the existing Maori health workforce," he said.

The two organisations would look at ways they could collaborate.

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