May 03, 2022
Māori bearing burden of Asthma
It’s World Asthma Day, and the Asthma and Respiratory Foundation of New Zealand is calling for urgent action this World Asthma Day to address significant inequalities in asthma care experienced by Māori, Pacific peoples and those living in poverty.
Medical director James Fingleton says those groups are more likely to have asthma, be hospitalised with asthma and die from asthma.
Māori are almost three times more likely to be hospitalised because of asthma than Pākehā.
One in six Māori live with asthma, compared to 1 in 8 for the general population.
Dr Fingleton says the change will only be achieved through widespread, cross-sector cooperation.
He hopes the establishment of a Māori Health Authority might lead to substantive improvements.
At the community level, Dr Fingleton says health practitioners need to reflect on how they can improve their support of the most at-risk asthma groups and make the best use of tools and resources already available.