August 16, 2021
SUDI message needs to be more Maori
The head of Hāpai Te Hauora’s SUDI Prevention Coordination service says messaging on Sudden Unexpected Death in Infancy may need to be reshaped so it resonates more with Māori.
A new SUDI strategy was launched in 2017, emphasis the need for babies to have their own sleeping spaces, breastfeeding, immunisations and for homes and cars to be smokefree.
But since then the number of deaths has increased, and they’re now is now 30 percent higher than in 2017.
Fay Selby Law says the majority of those deaths are in Counties Manukau, Northland and Bay of Plenty where there are high Māori populations and high rates of poverty – and poverty is a common factor in many health problems.
She says the SUDI programme was designed by researchers and clinicians who focus on facts and numbers, whereas Māori want to hear stories that relate to them.
"Clinicians are good at telling and they're not good at listening. We want our stories. We want to look like what we're seeing and we want people working with us who look and sound like we do and in our service that's what we are really working hard to do," Ms Selby Law says.
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