April 15, 2020
COVID test numbers for Maori statistically low
A Māori academic says analysis of the data shows Māori have been under-tested for COVID-19 infection.
Rawiri Taonui says it’s clear mainstream testing stations do not engage well with Māori, so he’d like to see more Māori medical staff on the frontline doing the testing.
There’s also a pattern showing district health boards are reluctant to endorse Māori testing sites, apart from in areas like Counties Manukau where there are Māori or Pasifika in management.
"Given our historical vulnerabilities and experiences in previous epidemics, and also the fact that during epidemics there can be heightened racism in the treatment of non-European groups, it has to be regarded with urgency to get that testing up and moving and start going through our communities to see if there are hidden pockets," he says.
Dr Taonui says there needs to be mobile testing on some of the more remote areas with significant Māori populations were a lot of people broke the stay at home rules over Easter to go to their holiday baches.
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