October 04, 2022
Māori helped by Healthy Homes Initiative
The latest three-year evaluation of the Healthy Homes initiative is crediting it with reducing hospitalisations by almost 20 percent.
It estimates 31,000 children, hapu màmà and 111,000 of their family members are warmer and healthier thanks to the initiative, which includes interventions such as providing beds and bedding, curtains, housing relocation, and heating.
It was set up to target low-income families with children at risk of rheumatic fever in Auckland and Northland, and then expanded to focus on families with children aged up to 5 and pregnant women, and rolled out to the rest of the country.
Associate Health Minister Ayesha Verrall says it shows the impact of simple interventions.
“Often the amount of money being spent in each home is in the high hundreds or low thousands, maybe $1500 on some of these modifications and repairs and yet they can have such a big impact on people,” she says.
Dr Verrall says the evaluation also found school attendance increased by 3 percent and household employment increased by 4 percent.
Some 94 percent of referrals to the scheme identified as Māori or Pacific.