HEALTH

Minister welcomes Pacific Health Chart Book

Friday 15 June 2012, 2:30PM
By Tariana Turia
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Associate Minister of Health, Tariana Turia, is pleased that Tupu Ola Moui Pacific Health Chart Book 2012, has been released providing a snapshot of the health of Pacific people living in New Zealand.

“The Government is committed to improving the health of Pasifika peoples so that they can lead longer, healthier and more independent lives” said Minister Turia, who has responsibility for Pasifika health in her role as Associate Minister of Health.

“To make meaningful progress, we need to be clear about the priorities” said Mrs Turia.

The report presents a range of indicators including health status, risk factors and socio-economic determinants of health. The report shows Pacific people continue to have lower life expectancy, higher rates of mortality and hospitalisation rates.

“I am particularly concerned to see that we do more for Pasifika children with asthma and infectious diseases - and for adults around cardio-vascular disease and diabetes.”

“This is particularly important when we take into account the demographics. The Pacific population has a much younger age structure than the general population, with a median age in 2006 of 21 years, compared with 36 years for the total population”.

“It’s good to see continuing high immunisation rates and increases in the proportion of Pacific women having cervical smears and mammograms. We need to build on what is working well to deliver more effective prevention and protection in areas such as breastfeeding, nutrition and smoking.”

“This report gives us opportunity to think about what we can do help lift outcomes in Pasifika health” said Mrs Turia. “As one example, the report reveals that almost 90% of Pacific men and women had poor health literacy. It is our collective challenge to consider what we can do to change that statistic”.