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Massey Magazine Issue 13 November 2002

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Palmerston North

Child health research findings launched

The findings of a major health research project focusing on the health and well-being of children in a rural Northland community were launched on 30 September at Kaeo.

Te Hauora O Nga Tamariki O Whaingaroa research project was located within the iwi of Ngapuhi and Ngati Kahu.

It is a collaboration between Te Runanga O Whaingaroa and the University, with support from the Whangaroa Health Services Trust.

Children’s Commissioner Dr Cindy Kiro was the principal researcher on the project when she was with the Centre for Public Health Research. “There is a real potential for health gains to be made through an emphasis on health services addressing risk factors for conditions with modifiable causes for tamariki and youth,” she says.

Respiratory infections were identified as a major cause of illness and hospitalisation among tamariki in Whangaroa. Almost half (45 percent) of the Mäori population in Whangaroa are between 0-17 years of age.

Dr Kiro says the research provides a baseline enabling local health providers to plan services for young people and whanau more effectively. “Training in research skills will strengthen the community and enable it to carry out its own research,” she says.

“The Runanga will use the results to influence the purchase and provision of health services and district council programmes aimed at assisting whanau.”

The research was carried out from 2001 to 2004.
Benefits identified from this research project included:
• The development of a meaningful understanding of hauora and health status measures that are relevant for the Whangaroa community.
• The importance of cultural determinants of hauora.
• The development of comprehensive baseline data on the health status of tamariki within the Whangaroa County which can be used to monitor health status over time.

The project was funded by the Health Research Council of New Zealand.

Created: 8 October, 2004

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