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Online Learning Increases The Maori Smokefree Workforce

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Online Learning Increases The Maori Smokefree Workforce

Te Hotu Manawa Maori (THMM) is using e-learning to up-skill Maori workers to become smoking cessation advisors, as part of their normal duties.

The programme - Nga Kete Hauora - is an ABC smoking cessation pilot that has been trialled in the Bay of Plenty and Te Taitokerau.

An ABC intervention is an approach to offering clients information about quitting:

A. Ask all people about their smoking status and document this.

B. Provide Brief advice to stop smoking to all people who smoke, regardless of their desire or motivation to quit.

C. Make an offer of and refer to, or provide, evidence based Cessation treatment

(Ministry of Health, 2009). "About seventy workers have been through the programme so far and we are very pleased with their response," THMM Chief Executive Officer Moana Tane told the Public Health Association Conference at Turangawaewae Mare in Ngaruawahia today.

"At the start of the project we did a literature review and looked at the factors that support Maori to quit. What the research told us was that Maori tend not to go to GPs. Barriers include finances and social isolation.

"Evidence shows that when Maori do go to the doctor they may not receive the same treatment as non-Maori. Some doctors admit they lack rapport with their Maori patients, and data shows that Maori consultation times may be shorter. Doctors are very important sources of information about health. If Maori aren't going to the doctor, then we need to look at other forums and places they go to everyday.

"This includes whanau, kura, marae, work and school. That's where smoking cessation support should be offered."

The new training programme starts with half a day's training on the history of Maori and tobacco.

"Smoking, or the 'imposter tikanga' as we call it, has its beginnings in the aggressive marketing of tobacco to Maori women and their children, during the 1800s and early 1900s. Tobacco companies produced cigarette cards, posters and booklets, depicting Maori women and in some cases, Maori children smoking in a range of stances.

"Their targeting of Maori through advertising has been extremely successful. This is evidenced by the disproportionately high rates amongst Maori who now have some of the highest rates of lung cancer in the world."

THMM aims to increase the number of Maori who can offer smoking cessation advice, as part of their current roles, so they designed an e-learning tool, Nga Kete Hauora. This programme gives trainees access to a training programme so that they can become Quit Card Providers. This means they can give clients Nicotine Replacement Therapy.

"Once they have completed our face to face hui, and the five module e-programme, we register them with the Quit Group on the Quit Card Scheme," Ms Tane said.

"From this point on, they can give an ABC intervention, and offer nicotine replacement therapy to their whanau, workmates, and clients. It takes away the barriers to accessing sound, evidence based smoking cessation support and increases the number of times that Maori are given the opportunity to make a quit smoking attempt."

"We are different on two levels - first of all, we are working with non-health professionals, such as family start workers, or community volunteers in kaupapa Maori organisations as a priority.

"Secondly we base our programme on a kaupapa Maori approach which is strengths based, positively framed - no preaching, no judging - and very strongly associated with tikanga Maori concepts, and traditions."

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