March 14, 2023
Pēpi Māori fall through gap in GP care
A University of Otago researcher says pēpi Māori not being enrolled with a general practice when they are born is a factor behind low immunisation rates.
Dr Amber Young from the school of pharmacy has received a grant from Cure Kids to identify problems in the system for Māori and ways to increase the number of whānau enrolled with primary healthcare providers.
She says if they’re not enrolled at birth they’re significantly less likely to be immunized at 6 weeks and will go to and miss other vaccines.
“The problem with this enrolment is it’s a system issue, it’s not a fault of whanau, and it means whanau might not be then receiving the recalls for immunisation and not receiving the support to get their pepi immunised and pepi might be falling through the gaps in the system here,” Dr Young says.
She says if a GP practice doesn’t accept a pepe when they are alerted of they birth by the immunisation register, the baby can be left without protection from diseases such as measles, whooping cough and diphtheria.