June 12, 2019
Short term survival masks long term threat
A Māori health researcher says many of the messages about heart health don't get through to Māori because they are struggling with the day to day survival of their whānau.
Dr Anna Rolleston is the co-convenor of this week's Third Indigenous Cardiovascular Health Conference in Wellington.
She says New Zealand has a world class medical system, so the problems with Māori health are not on the medical side but on being able to look at the reality of people's lives.
That may mean fixing some other things before people can address their own health.
"If a family is struggling to put food on the table, your kōrero as a health professional isn’t going to reach them because actually their context isn’t the fact they should eat better and they should stop smoking and they should do some more exercise. The context is ‘I’m struggling to survive,’" Dr Rolleston says.
She is speaking at the conference today about a Health Research Council-funded project looking at how Māori values can be incorporated into health management strategies.
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