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New Zealand Specific Healthcare Question 5
The incidence of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is associated with co-sleeping with parents. A Maori led health initiative has argued for the funding of Pepi-pods, a protected sleep space to allow for safer co-sleeping with babies. The ministry of health denied public funding for Pepi-pods on the basis that there was no good quality research on how well they worked. They have since reversed this decision. Discuss the need for Maori-led initiatives in New Zealand.
In the case of SIDS, Maori are over-represented in the statistics. This is unfortunately also the case for many other preventable health issues in New Zealand, including obesity, type-two diabetes and heart disease.
One key issue is that Maori, often do not respond positively to the same individual, isolated care which works well for non-Maori. Instead, a more community-based, culturally centred approach is necessary which involves the individual’s wider family support network (whanau). Developing an approach which is led by Maori, especially if the leader is highly recognised within their respective community is likely to be better received and have better uptake than if the same initiative was lead by non-Maori.
Maori-led initiatives often are developed in consultation with relevant Maori groups and take into consideration relevant aspects of both Maori culture and social attitudes towards particular issues.