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Health Promotion Forum of New Zealand Runanga Whakapiki Ake i te Hauora o Aotearoa
News

April 2019 will be the month that the world health promotion community come to New Zealand. So diarise April 7-11, 2019, the dates for the World Health Promotion Conference, Rotorua.

Sione Tu’itahi Executive Director of Health Promotion Forum of New Zealand explains the immense planning that has started for this event. “We were really pleased with our successful bid in October 2016 and are now well underway with plans to make it a world class event. We are fortunate to have the support of the New Zealand government and key partners. It means we can give delegates an exceptional quality experience”.

HPF was supported in the bid by NZ Tourism and The Conference Company. Influential New Zealanders Sir Mason Durie, Hon Dr Johnathon Coleman and organisations such as tertiary institutions and key local Rotorua bodies are all in support.

The conference website is now live at www.iuhpe2019.com. The website will feature information on the conference as it comes including the venue, keynotes and registration details. Sione explains, “If you work in health promotion, public policy or are an academic you won’t want to miss this. We will have top speakers from around the world as well as thought leaders and leading researchers from Aotearoa New Zealand”.

HPF are especially delighted that the spirit and intent of Te Tiriti o Waitangi will inform the conference, manifesting in strong Māori Indigenous and New Zealand leadership at all levels of the conference, with Te Reo Māori as one of the four official languages of the conference, alongside English, French and Spanish.

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News

Responding to the success of our 2014 Congress, three leading New Zealand population health organisations are working together again to organise the second New Zealand Population Health Congress to be held 18-20 April 2018 at the Aotea Centre, Auckland.

 

This Congress will be a further opportunity to influence the future direction of health and wellbeing of all New Zealanders and a chance for you to contribute to new thinking and action to shape our future.

 

Much has changed in New Zealand and the health sector since our last Congress.  More New Zealanders are living longer, happier lives, and for some the gaps are closing.  But for others, old problems remain and new challenges have emerged.  So our aims for 2018 are to learn from our recent experience and plan together for a less certain future.

 

The 2018 Congress theme is ‘Sharing solutions, shaping our future  E hara taku toa i te toa takitahi, engari he toa takitini‘ (My strength is not as an individual, but as a collective).

 

There will be three major streams of work to evaluate progress and provoke further thought, based on the priorities identified from the 2014 Congress:

• The best start in life for our children and their families
• Equity in health for all New Zealanders
• Responding to the impacts of climate change on health and wellbeing

 

We are committed to ensuring this Congress delivers:

• engaging, challenging and influential speakers
• diverse participants in large numbers
• exposure to new ideas, research and experience
• high media coverage for the Congress and its themes
• a stimulating, informative and enjoyable experience for participants?

 

For more on the conference, see www.pophealthcongress.org.nz

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Experts, News, Pacific

Without a doubt, a stand out figure from the global health, health promotion and public health sectors is Colin Tukuitonga.  Speaking from Noumea, Colin shared some thoughts with us on his current work as Director-General of The Pacific Community (SPC).

 

Thank you for your time this afternoon Colin. Firstly, what proportion of SPC work would you identify as health promotion?

Given the broad scope of my organisation’s mandate in food security, fisheries management & education, agriculture, public health, human rights and geoscience, this is difficult to answer however all of these things at one level or another are health promoting in their outcomes. We have a separate public health programme that has a large health promotion component and we work in 26 countries.

 

What are the biggest public health issues in the Pacific nations?

Most definitely non-communicable diseases (NCDs). Obesity affects three out of every four adults. We also have the increasing issue of childhood obesity. All islands were part of developing the Pacific NCD roadmap with specific recommended actions. One of these was to introduce a tax on sugary drinks. Another was an increase in tax on tobacco.  The Pacific NCD roadmap is essentially a blueprint for the islands to follow. Some are active on this. Others less so. However, we expect all islands to implement a sugary drink tax.

Communicable diseases can affect some islands for example tuberculosis in Papua New Guinea.

 

What do you see  as the role of health promotion in addressing these issues?

Without a doubt this (taking a health promotion approach) is where we need to be overall but resourcing places constraints on this. Many islands are doing their best to help but again, more often than not, hospital and treatment services take up the lion’s share of funding. We do what we can at SPC to encourage island nations to invest in core public health functions but it is challenging.

 

You have signalled SPC’s strong support for the 2019 World IUHPE conference to be held in NZ. What do you see as SPC’s role at the conference?

We have three roles. Firstly, general support for the hui. It is just fantastic that we get to have this event in this part of the world. Secondly, we are planning to provide some financial support. Thirdly, and most importantly, our role is to facilitate an opportunity at this global event for small islands to  share concerns and then work together, to take strength and to think about a way forward as an organisation of small islands. That is what we would hope to achieve.

 

Climate change is a major issue facing the peoples of the Pacific. What actions do you think are necessary to address this global environmental issue?

We made significant gains with the Paris Agreement, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.  Now with United States of America withdrawing from that, it may take us back to before the agreement so trying to maintain momentum is really difficult. We need political support from many to honour the Paris Agreement. Without this we will be going backwards. Pacific nations have put a lot of energy into the agreement particularly the recommendations to limit emissions and enable funds for good work. Right now we are at risk of inertia with the US not agreeing to continue.

 

How do you see public health and health promotion developing over the years?

Well when I started people talked about more traditional quarantine measures, or the role of legislation to regulate behaviours or control diseases. We’ve come a long way since then. The watershed moment for me was the emergence of the Ottawa Charter. This changed things from a conventional public health approach to one of empowerment of communities and of developing healthy public policy.

For me it is about continuing this Ottawa Charter type approach and supporting nations to invest more in health promotion practices. To undertake things like health impact assessment and environmental impact assessment when large development projects are on the table. We have a range of tools to choose from but in general these are not always applied consistently.

 

Having worked in both New Zealand and the Pacific, how would you characterise the relationship between the two?

In some areas it is going well however I would say there seems to be a general lack of awareness in New Zealand about what is happening in the Pacific regions. I do note though that there is more and more interaction taking place.

We could learn a lot from the health promotion models and ideas in New Zealand. Smoking continues to be a significant problem in the islands.  We have been impressed with New Zealand’s smoke free work over many years.

 

Are there any other pointers from your recent work we could learn from?

Recently I was part of the World Health Organisation Global Commission on Ending Childhood Obesity as a commissioner. From that we produced a final report with a set of recommendations and cost-effective measures for ending childhood obesity. New Zealand and Pacific nations have been slow to pick these up. One would hope governments provide leadership and look seriously at the recommendations of this report.

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News

Health Promotion Forum (HPF) are part of the Planetary Wellbeing Coalition- a group passionate about supporting collective health promotion and public health action at all levels in light of 21st century realities.

The group includes HPF, PHA (Louise Delaney, Warren Lindberg), Papa Nahi and the Prior Policy Centre (Emeritus Professor John Raeburn, Emeritus Professor Robert Beaglehole).

We’re looking forward to sharing more about our group with you over the coming months.

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News

HPF Senior Health Promotion Strategist Viliami Puloka is currently in Ha’apai in the Kingdom of Tonga supporting research for the University of Otago Health Promotion & Policy Research Unit. Viliami reports that the huge support from the community makes his research work very rewarding.

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News

Our Senior Health Promotion Strategist Dr Viliami Puloka has recently returned from Whakatane where he engaged an audience on Pasifika Health Promotion: Turning the Tide of NCDs.

Participants were thrilled with the interactive and in-depth nature of the workshop and left the day motivated to use health promotion approaches within their practice.

If you are interested in one of our workshops or courses there are a small number of spaces for this Friday’s workshop in Napier on Māori Concepts of Health Promotion http://www.hauora.co.nz/dates-an.html . There are also spaces on the Certificate in Health Promotion starting in April http://www.hauora.co.nz/certificate.html Check them out!

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News

At the Health Promotion Forum we continue to invest in sector leadership both nationally and globally.

Our Executive Director Sione Tu’itahi has just returned from Manila where he worked on the Western Pacific Action Plan on promoting health for sustainable development.

Led by the World Health Organisation, the plan is a follow-up on the Shanghai global health promotion conference held last November.

Sione was invited to work on the plan together with other experts from the region. “It is a privilege for the Health Promotion Forum and is also a recognition of our experience and leadership in health promotion in the region and on the global level” said Sione.
“It is also very timely given our hosting in April 2019 of the next world health promotion conference of the International Union of Health Promotion and Education (IUHPE)” he added.

Keep an eye on our website and facebook page for more information on the 2019 IUHPE conference and registration details.

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News

Proposed funding cuts to the longitudinal Growing Up in New Zealand study will drastically affect the study’s potential to improve the health of New Zealanders and reduce health and social inequities, says The New Zealand College of Public Health Medicine (NZCHPM).

nzcphm

“We know how valuable these longitudinal studies are,” says NZPCHM President Dr Caroline McElnay.  “So why now, when we have some major and escalating issues facing our communities, would government forego further investment in the Growing up in New Zealand study?”

 

“It doesn’t make sense, given how much valuable data we have already gained, and how much more we can get form this initiative; data that will highly likely enhance the lives of our children and their children.”

 

Unlike similar studies of this kind, the full cohort of subjects in the study had important representation of Māori, Pacific and Asian communities, says Dr McElnay.

 

“We need to know how to improve health and health equity for groups that do not experience the same benefit from the services we currently provide.  We need our decisions to be based on robust, independent evidence.”

 

Taken from a 19 October 2016 NZPCHM press release

 

26 October 2016

 

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News

The Public Health Association of New Zealand (PHA) is calling on New Zealand Government negotiators to oppose clauses in the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), currently being negotiated, that would increase the cost of life-saving medicines in poorer countries.

 

The PHA is one of 94 organisations having signed an open letter to the 16 ministers negotiating the RCEP encouraging them to resist such provisions. Similar to provisions in the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement, the RCEP provisions, which are being championed by Japan and South Korea, would lengthen medicine patent monopoly periods which would delay market entry for more affordable, generic, but essential medicines. This would keep medicine prices high in countries where diseases such as HIV are rife, such as Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam; and especially in ‘least developed countries’, such as Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar.

 

PHA Chief Executive Warren Lindberg says it’s important to strike a balance between the rights of patent holders and the needs of impoverished people in the developing world.

 

“It’s neither right nor ethical that richer countries like ours are negotiating to extend and protect profitability for multinational corporations to the detriment of people in poorer countries who have the basic human right to affordable medicines. There is a disturbing lack of compassion evident here.

 

“There is no doubt that extending patent periods will increase instances of diseases in these countries, leading to increased death and suffering for the world’s most vulnerable, especially children.”

 

Mr Lindberg said the data exclusivity and patent extension provisions being negotiated, as revealed by leaked documents, are unnecessary and go way beyond any intellectual property protections required by the World Trade Organization.

 

The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) is a free trade agreement (FTA) currently under negotiation between the ten member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) (Brunei, Burma (Myanmar), Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam) and countries with existing FTAs with ASEAN which includes Australia, China, India, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand.

 

 

Public Health Association media release 21 October 2016

 

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Experts, Global, News, What is HP

Leaders pledge support for World Conference

The leaders of two highly regarded international bodies have signalled their support of the next World Health Promotion Conference. United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Administrator the Rt Hon Helen Clark and Dr Colin Tukuitonga, Director-General of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) have both indicated their organisations’ support of the Conference, to be held in Rotorua in April 2019.

Representatives of host organisation Health Promotion Forum met with both Ms Clark and Dr Tukuitonga during a conference in Tonga this month.

Ms Clark who, as New Zealand’s Prime Minister has spoken at Health Promotion Forum’s annual symposium, acknowledged the importance of planetary health and sustainable development and expressed her organisation’s interest in being involved.

Ms Clark was the keynote speaker on Monday at the Pacific NCD Summit in Nuku’alofa, June 20-22, for health ministers of the Pacific, which was organised by the Secretariat to the Pacific Community (SPC).

Dr Tukuitonga has expressed his wish for a strong Pacific presence at the conference and has pledged the involvement of his Pacific-wide organisation to support this aim.

The theme of the triennial conference of the International Union for Health Promotion and Education (IUHPE) is “Promoting Planetary Health and Sustainable Development for All.”

 

Pictured from left

  1. Ms Osnat Lubrani, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative, UNDP Pacific Office,
  2. Dr Viliami Puloka, HPF Pacific Leader and Otago University Research Fellow,
  3. Rt Hon Helen Clark, UNDP Administrator and former Prime Minister of New Zealand,
  4. Ms Leanne Eruera, HPF Business Manager and 2019 Conference Project Manager,
  5. Mr Sione Tu’itahi, HPF Executive Director and IUHPE Vice-President.

hpf-and-undp

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Global, News

Health Promotion Forum of New Zealand – Runanga Whakapiki Ake i te Hauora o Aotearoa (HPF) has been successful in its bid to host the next World Conference on Health Promotion.  This will be the first time New Zealand has hosted the conference and represents the country’s recognised leadership in health promotion: particularly indigenous wellbeing.

Set to take place in Rotorua, April 2019, the triennial conference of the International Union of Health Promotion and Education (IUHPE) will receive 2,000-3,000 health promotion and education professionals from around the world.

The win was announced on May 27 (NZ time) at the closing ceremony of the 22nd world health promotion conference of the International Union for Health Promotion and Education (IUHPE) that was held on May 22-27 in Curitiba, Brazil.

“We are delighted by the IUHPE’s confidence in our ability to host one of the most important events in the health promotion calendar,” said HPF’s Executive Director, Sione Tu’itahi.  “We are also grateful for the hard work and expertise from our partners in preparing our bid.  Now the real work begins to plan and stage a top class conference that upholds our reputation around the world.”

HPF was supported by NZ Tourism and engaged the help of The Conference Company to conduct a thorough feasibility study before making its bid.  Rotorua was selected for its world-class meeting facilities and accommodation as well as for its reputation as the cultural heartland of New Zealand.  The area showcases initiatives in socio-economic development, sustainability, holistic wellbeing and environmental protection: all of which are aspect of health promotion.

The organisation received overwhelming support for its bid from influential New Zealanders including Sir Mason Durie, Rt Hon John Key, Hon Dr Jonathon Coleman, as well as tertiary institutes and key local Rotorua bodies.

Health Promotion Forum is the national umbrella organisation for health promotion in Aotearoa New Zealand.  It also plays a leading role in the development of health promotion in the Pacific region and internationally.

IUHPE is an international organisation that leads the on-going advancement of health promotion in the world.

sione-leanne-trev-curitiba

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Diet, News

Consumer research by the Health Promotion Agency (HPA) has found food choices for people of all ethnicities are heavily influenced by price and specials. For larger households quantity influences choice as well.  After quantity, the next priority is whether the children will eat it, which is closely linked with brand/taste preferences. While many families will try budget brands, taste preferences win over.

Consumers mention health, but for most it is a low priority; with healthy choices seen as a luxury for those with more money to spend. Fear of not liking unknown brands leads to entrenched and habitual shopping choices; something the Health Star Rating consumer campaign seeks to influence.

The research – aimed at measuring of consumers’ understanding and use of Health Star Ratings – has found around four in every ten shoppers recognise Health Stars when prompted. Pacific shoppers showed higher recognition of the star rating (65%).

Around half of all shoppers accurately understand how to use Health Stars with many saying the higher the stars the healthier the product. However, most people did not yet understand Health Stars should be used to compare foods in similar categories. Although when consumers were shown two different products with Health Stars, consumers can easily identify which food is the healthier choice.

“The Health Star Rating labelling is a really important step to help people make healthier food choices,” said Dr Fran McGrath, who is a member of the Health Star Rating Advisory Group.  “The food industry is adopting the labelling and also making changes so foods are healthier. This is important progress, but only one part of the jig-saw.”

The Health Star ratings is a voluntary front-of-pack labelling system developed for use in New Zealand and Australia. Health Star ratings are for packaged foods as these are the foods with which consumers have the most difficulty, when making healthier choices. Health stars takes the guess work out of reading labels and aims to help consumers make healthier choices quickly and easily when choosing packaged foods.

For more consumer insights and information generally about the Health Star Rating campaign visit the HPA’s page.

hpa-health-star-rating

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Competencies, News, What is HP

A Master’s Degree dissertation by HPF’s Senior Health Promotion Strategist Karen Hicks has upheld the widely held view that  the 2012 New Zealand Health Promotion Competencies (HPC2012) are unique in the world, due to their central inclusion of indigenous Māori perspectives.  This central positioning of Māori results in a framework that is an effective capacity-development tool to improve Māori health and reduce inequities.

 

Findings from Karen’s qualitative research confirmed that the HPC2012 provides an example of best practice that is values-driven and inclusive. Karen’s analysis showed that the process’ cultural-sensitivity was made possible by the:

 

a)      weaving of Māori tikanga values throughout the development phase.

b)      inclusion of grassroots workers – the backbone of the health promotion workforce – in the development process for the competencies.

c)       provision of adequate time to meaningfully consult with Māori.

 

Karen used a two-fold methodology for her research, including the comparative analysis of secondary data from four international health promotion competency frameworks and analysis of primary data obtained from interviews with New Zealand health promotion public health leaders.

 

 

The HPC2012 is the second version of the competencies; the first having been published in 2000.   The rigorous review and wide consultation with Māori was a response to feedback that identified inadequate consultation with the indigenous people of Aotearoa New Zealand as a shortcoming of the first version.

The current competencies were recently recognised by the International Union of Health Promotion and Education (IUHPE) as equivalent to their own European Health Promotion Competencies.  See article.

 

 

 

16 March 2016

Jo Lawrence-King

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Case Studies, News

In a bid to address health inequalities and the under-representation of Māori in health and disability services, Taranaki DHB is creating new career pathways for secondary and tertiary Māori students.

 

whyora-logo1

 

The students are gaining work experience through the DHB’s ‘WhyOra’ programme, to work towards a career in health and disability services.

 

Established in 2010, the WhyOra programme has included more than 300 Taranaki students; introducing them to a range of roles in the sector and supporting them into roles.

 

The programme was supported by funding from TSB Community Trust, JR McKenzie Trust and Taranaki DHB.

 

Read the full story in Scoop.co.nz or visit the WhyOra website.

 

whyora-you-can-do-it

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News, Policy

A new charter is a call to action on health and wellbeing at tertiary education centres around the world.  The Okanagan Charter was produced in October 2015 at the 2015 International Conference on Health Promoting Universities.  “Universities and colleges must be exemplars of health-promoting communities,” says Deborah Buszard, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the host university.  “The Okanagan Charter is a powerful call to action for post-secondary institutions to embed health in our campus policies and services, to create environments which support health and personal development, and to become communities with a culture of well-being.”

The Tertiary Wellbeing (Aotearoa New Zealand) – TWANZ – development group is considering a national consultation process to map out ways the Charter can be applied here.  Members of the TWANZ development group were among the 45 countries that contributed to the Charter, which is designed to confront increasingly complex issues about health, wellbeing, and sustainability of people and the planet .“Cumulatively the Okanagan Charter and the NZ tertiary sector’s focus on wellbeing is very encouraging,” says Anna Tonks, project coordinator for the TWANZ development group.  The group is now calling for stories of best practice and for new members to join them.

The Okanagan Charter puts higher education at the forefront of the movement. Conference delegates pledged to take the Charter back to their countries and organisations to mobilise health promotion action; both on and off campuses.

The Conference was held at the Okanagan campus of the University of British Columbia in Canada.

If you have a story to share or are interested in joining the group please contact Anna Tonks.

 

okanagan-charter-cover

 

http://www.hauora.co.nz/assets/files/News/Okanagan_Charter_Oct_6_2015.pdf

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Evidence, Global, News

A glowing review by Henry March was published this month in UK paper NewStatesman of Michael Marmot’s book The Health Gap: the Challenge of an Unequal World.  The review – and the book –  highlights Marmot’s long-held view that mortality statistics are a question of inequity.

 

 

“If everyone in England over the age of 30 had the same low mortality as people with university education, there would be 202,000 fewer deaths before the age of 75 each year . . . 2.6 million extra years of life saved each year.”  The reviewer quotes from Marmot’s book.

bn-lb211_bkrvma_jv_20151102152610

 

There has been much argument over the years, says Henry March, about how “health” should be defined. “One might scoff a little at the breadth of the World Health Organisation’s definition: “complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”. But it is difficult to disagree with the underlying idea that good health is more than just the absence of disease.”

 

“We need to seek out the “cause of the causes”. Working-class people smoke more, have higher obesity rates, take less exercise and die younger as a result – but why? Those of a right-wing disposition might suggest that it is simply because they are feckless and have not exercised their free will to work hard and live healthy lives. But this, you realise as you read Marmot’s book, is the propaganda of the victors.”

 

Henry March is clearly convinced by this book; pronouncing it ‘splendid and necessary’.

Rrad the full review

 

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News, Policy, Smoking

campaigns for smokefree cars

 

marama-fox-and-chathy-cherrington-source-new-zealand-herald

 

Northland Health Provider Te Hiku Hauora is leading a campaign to encourage Government to legislate against smoking in cars carrying children under 18 years of age.

Cathy Cherrington, manager of Te Hiku Hauora’s health promotion team in Kaitaia presented a 2000 signature petition to co-leader of the Maori party Marama Fox earlier this month.  The petition calls on Government to protect children agains passive smoking in cars.  New rules in Britain now ban smoking in vehicles with children on board. The petition calls for a similar ban here and will be presented to Parliament by Ms Fox.

Marama Fox – an ex-smoker and anti smoking campaigner – was delighted to accept the petition.  She said she will accept support for her battle to eliminate smoking in New Zealand by 2025 from wherever it comes.

 

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Diet, News, Policy

The majority of New Zealanders now support a tax on sugary drinks.  That is according to public health advisory group FIZZ (Fighting Sugar in Soft-drinks), which published its findings from two large-scale surveys in the 25 September issue of the New Zealand Medical Journal (NZMJ).  According to the authors “a significant shift has occurred in New Zealanders’ appetite for a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs), if the funds collected are to be used to prevent obesity.”

 

coca-cola-obese

 

There is strong political support, from parties outside government, for action to address SSBs, the paper says. A policy brief by the New Zealand Beverage Guidance Panel has been endorsed by the Green, Labour and Māori parties.  The brief “Options to reduce sugar sweetened beverage consumption in New Zealand” outlines 20 suggested initiatives to address the issue.

 

New Zealand has the third highest rage of childhood obesity in the developed world1.  In their NZMJ article the authors cite a recent study, which conservatively attributes a high sugary drink intake to 561 deaths in Australasia every year2.  This is equivalent to 40% of the region’s annual road toll.

 

 “It seems inevitable […] that an SSB tax will be a major part of reclaiming our chil­dren’s health, considering the growing public support for its implementation,” say the authors of the NZMJ paper. “The only question that remains is when.”

To read the full article, click here.  You will need to subscribe to the NZMJ.

 

OECD, OECD Obesity Update 2014. 2014. www.oecd.org/health/ obesity- update.htm

Singh G, Micha R, Khatibzadeh S, Lim S, Ezzati M, Mozaffarian D. Estimated Global, Regional, and National Disease Burdens Related to Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Consumption in 2010. Circulation. June 29, 2015.

 

Jo Lawrence-King

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Evidence, News

New Zealand’s first health promotion book was launched in Wellington on Friday 28 August 2015.

 

promoting-health-in-aotearoa
Edited by Associate Professor Louise Signal and Dr Mihi Ratima, the book’s contributing authors include HPF’s Executive Director, Sione Tu’itahi, past Pacific Health Promotion Strategist Dr Ieti Lima and past HPF Executive Director Alison Blaiklock.

Sione was invited to speak at the launch.  A transcript of his speech (below) summarises the many reasons this book is a welcome addition to the texts of all those involved in population health in Aotearoa New Zealand.

“Tena koutou, tena koutou, tena koutou katoa.

Warm Pasifika Greetings and good afternoon one and all.

Firstly, may I acknowledge the unifying spirit that has brought to fruition this challenging but very rewarding process.  Together we have woven our diverse knowledge together for the hauora – the collective and holistic health wellbeing of our communities and peoples – in Aotearoa and abroad.

Secondly, may I acknowledge, the Mana Whenua of Whanganui a Tara, Wellington; the leadership of Otago University and, in particular, its School of Public Health

My sincere thanks to Louise for her kind invitation for me to say a few words. I am honoured and privileged.

This book is significant in a number of ways:

  1. It is the first health promotion textbook that is based on our Aoteaora New Zealand experience and realities. It is therefore of marked relevance to our context and applies directly to our joint effort to address the determinants of health and inequities.
  2. The process by which the book was produced, both in contents and presentation, reflects a successful partnership that resonates with the letter and spirit of our nation’s founding document, Te Tiriti o Waitangi; an example worth emulating.
  3. The book gives prominence to Matauranga Maori, while weaving together the knowledge of the west, the knowledge of the east, and indigenous knowledge systems.  It holds them up as a set of effective solutions for addressing our health challenges.
  4. While the primary focus is on Aotearoa, the book brings in the experience and knowledge of Moana Nui a Kiwa and other regions, thus making it a very valuable contribution to our collective effort at the global level to address planetary health.

The launching of Promoting Health in Aoteroa New Zealand today is very timely:

  1. There is a growing awareness in all sectors; government, community, and corporate; that, to be effective in addressing our socio-economic, cultural, physical, ecological and spiritual wellbeing, we must take an integrated health promotional and preventative approach.
  2. There has also been a marked increase recently in the number of courses and qualifications on health promotion and public health in universities, polytechnics and wananga. This book is a ‘must have’ reading and resources for all learners.
  3. Finally, awareness is of the connectedness of the challenges is grown in other sectors, such as social development and education.  They see the increasing need to learn from other sectors, such as health, with some of their effective approaches such as health promotion.

May I offer my hearty congratulations to everyone who has played a part in bringing into the light of day, te ao marama, this wonderful new child of knowledge.  I especially would like to acknowledge the hard-working editors, Associate Professor Louise Signal, and Dr Mihi Ratima.  Your perseverance, dedication, endless patience, and professionalism, have paid off. Well done!

And to conclude, may I ask each and everyone here today, to please broadcast this wonderful work as broadly as you can by telling others about it and buying copies, not just a copy for yourself, but copies – for your friends, co-workers and institutions.

Thank you, Kia Ora and Malo ‘aupito”

 

View Otago University’s video launching the book.

 

 

Jo Lawrence-King

16 September 2015

 

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Equality, Maori, News, Racism

A feature article on an Australian TV website has highlighted the issue of the indigenous health gap; an issue that echoes the situation of Māori here in Aotearoa New Zealand.

 

The article, by Bianca Nogrady, highlights the fact that indigenous Australians have a life expectancy ten years lower than non-indigenous Australians.  She identifies social determinants of health such as income, access to affordable housing, stress and race as key factors in this gap.

 

Crowded housing and ear infections

 

poverty-in-brazil-1237888-1600x1200

 

Nogrady cites an example, by Professor Dennis McDermott from Adelaide’s Flinders University, of housing and ear infections.  Where a large number of people live at close quarters – as is more common among poorer indigenous people – children are more likely to suffer repeat ear infections as they are passed around the household.

 

“What happens is that non-Indigenous kids get it maybe once, they have a brush with it, and then it’s gone,” says Prof McDermott. “But with Indigenous kids in an overcrowded situation, it goes around and comes back, goes around and comes back, such that it’s a huge impact on hearing loss.”

 

This hearing loss has life-long effects. Children can’t hear in school, adults can’t hear on the job, it can impact on mental health, anger management, and wellbeing, McDermott says.

 

The impact is doubled with racism

According to Prof. McDermott racism has a clear and proven impact on people, as does connection to country – or the land from which people come.

 

“That psycho-spiritual connection to country, and doing these ceremonies, observing, burning the country when necessary…, is actually a positive contributor to health.”

 

In Australia there is hard evidence to support that those people living ‘on country’ and experiencing at least some elements of a traditional lifestyle are healthier.  They tend to be more physically active, have a better diet, lower body-mass index, lower blood pressure, lower blood glucose levels, lower prevalence of diabetes and a lower risk of cardiovascular disease.

 

 

Despite the issue seeming insurmountable Prof. McDermott is optimistic.  He compares the health gap to climate change, explaining that there is no vested interest in listening to the evidence and making a change.  However, he says; “I think if we can only get that message through and build a critical mass of discourse in the community, then the politicians will fall in line.”

The original article appeard on www.abec.net.au.  Read it here.

 

0

Exercise, News

A paper published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine has found that boosting physical activity levels in elderly men seems to be as good for health as giving up smoking.  Researchers suggest more effort should go into promoting physical activity in this group.

 

man-walking-in-park-1534161-1918x1119

 

The researchers based their findings on 15,000 men born between 1923 and 1932 for who took part in a health check in 1972-3 (Oslo I).

Some 6000 of the surviving men repeated the process in 2000 (Oslo II) and were monitored for almost 12 years to see if physical activity level over time was associated with a lowered risk of death from cardiovascular disease, or any cause, and if its impact were equivalent to quitting smoking.

Overall, the results showed that 30 minutes of physical activity–of light or vigorous intensity–6 days a week was associated with a 40% lower risk of death from any cause.

Men who regularly engaged in moderate to vigorous physical activity during their leisure time lived five years longer, on average, than those who were classified as sedentary.

This is an observational study so no definitive conclusions can be drawn about cause and effect, and the researchers point out that only the healthiest participants in the first wave of the study (in 1972-3) took part in the second wave (in 2000), which may have lowered overall absolute risk.

But the differences in risk of death between those who were inactive and active were striking, even at the age of 73, they suggest.

Journal Reference:

1.      I. Holme, S. A. Anderssen. Increases in physical activity is as important as smoking cessation for reduction in total mortality in elderly men: 12 years of follow-up of the Oslo II studyBritish Journal of Sports Medicine, 2015; 49 (11): 743 DOI: 10.1136/bjsports-2014-094522

 

 

 

Jo Lawrence-King

15 July 2015

– See more at: http://www.hauora.co.nz/physical-exercise-linked-to-lower-death-rate.html#sthash.TVMvUQjt.dpuf

0

Evidence, Global, News

scottish-thistle-from-freestock

 

Scottish MPs (MSPs) have called for a multi-agency approach to tackle inequalities.  This follows the publication of the Report on Health Inequalities after a two year inquiry, which identified the ongoing health gap between the rich and poor in Scotland.

The gap, they say, has endured; despite political will and investment in public health campaigns on smoking, nutrition and exercise.  In fact the inquiry identified that such campaigns had the potential to increase inequalities.  This is for two reasons:

  1. Such campaigns do not address the primary causes of inequalities such as poverty and deprivation and
  2. There is greater likelihood that the approaches would be taken up by the more literate and financially-able middle classes than those living in poverty.

It concluded that effective narrowing of the gap will require a multi-agency, multi-initiatives approach.

The MSPs pointed out that the primary causes of health inequalities; social and economic problems; lie outside of the health sector.  The National Health Service (NHS) alone cannot these issues. They identified three approaches to tackle inequalities:

  • Measures through the taxation and benefits system;
  • Agencies collaborating to work effectively on related policies such as housing and education;
  • NHS to provide better access to primary health services for the poorest and most vulnerable.

While the life expectancy gap in New Zealand is not as great as that in Scotland, there remain significant differences between different sectors of the population, with Māori and Pacific people faring poorly in health outcomes.

“It is particularly important to address this inequity; not only as a moral issue but as a societal one: inequities are linked to poor health outcomes, reduced opportunity, poor economic growth, lack of social cohesion and increased health care costs.,” says HPF Senior Health Promotion Strategist Karen Hicks.  “HPF will watch the development of this initiative in Scotland with interest.”

 

0

Global, News

The World Health Organization (WHO) identified a need for the development of public health leadership at a conference in November.   The global body called on governments, acadaemia, civil society and public health institutions to commit greater effort to developing the skills needed in the field; in order to protect public health values and to mitigate against public health threats.

 

departing-crowd-from-freestock

 

WHO also emphasised the need to strengthen the collective capacity for systems-thinking*, which focuses on population-based approaches as well as personal approaches to health and wellbeing improvement.

 

Over 1,400 public health practitioners, researchers and policy- makers from more than 65 countries participated in sessions  at the conference; covering topics such as the changing public health roles, gaps in health systems research and effective communication.

 

Dr Elke Jakubowski, programme manager of public health services at the WHO’s Division of Health Systems and Public Health,was speaking  at the 7th European Public Health Conference: Mind the Gap-reducing inequalities in health and health care in Glasgow, 19-22 November 2014.

 

Read the WHO article.

 

*Systems thinking involves interventions and engagement with key stakeholders and organisations across many sectors.  It is a framework for seeing interrelationships; understanding that everything is connected and that every action has an effect.  It is consistent with the social ecological model where health promoters appreciate the interconnectedness that exists through the relationships people have with and between family, friends, organizations, teams, communities, faith groups, etc. The social ecological model is a systems thinking model.

 

18 December 2014

Karen Hicks and Jo Lawrence-King

 

0

Equality, News, Pacific

outback-shack-from-freestock

 

“Making inroads into the elimination of child poverty may just be the remedy we all need for the ever increasing costs to the health system. Keeping people well, it seems, is the much cheaper option.”

Trevor Simpson, Deputy Executive Director,

Health Promotion Forum – Runanga Whakapiki Ake i te Hauora o Aotearoa

 

An article in the 15 December Manawatu Standard, Inequalities stymie health gains for Polynesians, makes a poignant statement and raises important concerns on Māori and Pacific health. Highlighting statistical data gleaned from the New Zealand Health Survey results for 2013 and 2014, the report covered the wide gap in health outcomes between Māori and Pacific and other ethnic groups. A staggering array of both causes and conditions were listed, describing a situation in which certain social groups experience a greater burden of disease than their existing counterparts (see ‘Health promotion, human rights and equity’ on the Health Promotion Forum website).

Most of these outcomes can be attributed to social inequities; that is, those unfair, avoidable and unjust factors that impact negatively on the health of social groups. A closer look shows that these outcomes are systemic and relate to what Sir Michael Marmot has described as the social determinants of health (see HPF paper  ‘Health and social inequalities; issues of justice and fairness’)

In the article, interviewee Chrissy Paul touches on a number of key points as to why these disparities may persist. As she accurately points out, these outcomes cannot simply be put down to ethnicity. It can also be shown that they cannot be classed as behavioural or cultural but rather structural i.e. how society is arranged. The entire breadth of a situation must be considered when questioning why any health outcome occurs. For example if Māori and Pacific people are experiencing higher rates of psychological duress then the reasons for this could emanate from a range of social, environmental, political and economic factors.  Chrissy further provided an important clue by referencing the fact that negative health statistics are found in “[Deprivation] Decile 10 areas,”  that is communities that experience higher levels of deprivation.

On this topic it is timely, for proponents of preventative health, that a nationwide discussion has focussed on poverty and the widening gap between the ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’. For example, Bryce Edwards, in his NZ Herald opinion piece on Monday 15th December suggests that  ‘Inequality’ could be the word of the year in New Zealand politics. The correlations between poverty and health outcomes are now very well-known and understood. It is true that poverty exists across all ethnicities but it is hard to overlook the stark contrast between Māori and Pacifica peoples and other groups.

Children are a case in point. The Child Poverty Monitor: 2014 Technical Reportshows that 1 in 3 Māori and Pacifica children live in poverty as compared to 1 in 6 European children. It also states that three out of 5 of these children are likely to live this way for many years. The impact of this on health across the life continuum is obvious, not to mention extremely costly. For example rates of hospitalisations for children living in the most deprived areas (NZDep deciles 9–10) were nearly 3 times higher than for those in areas with the least deprivation (NZDep deciles 1–2). Further the majority of hospital admissions were due to infectious and respiratory diseases among children aged 0–14 years. During 2009–2013, 82% of these admissions were for asthma and wheeze, acute bronchiolitis, acute upper respiratory infections, gastroenteritis, viral infection of unspecified site, skin infections or pneumonia (bacterial, non-viral). In many cases these outcomes were completely preventable.

One simple solution is to reinstate a universal child benefit; to lift not only poor families, but all struggling whānau, above the bread line. Other answers can be found in the Office of the Children’s Commissioners report Choose kids: why investing in children benefits all New Zealanders.

Making inroads into the elimination of child poverty may just be the remedy we all need for the ever increasing costs to the health system and our communities. Keeping people well, it seems, is the much cheaper option.

16 December 2014

Trevor Simpson

0

Equality, News, Pacific
 

“Making inroads into the elimination of child poverty may just be the remedy we all need for the ever increasing costs to the health system. Keeping people well, it seems, is the much cheaper option.”

Trevor Simpson, Deputy Executive Director,

Health Promotion Forum – Runanga Whakapiki Ake i te Hauora o Aotearoa

 

An article in the 15 December Manawatu Standard, Inequalities stymie health gains for Polynesians, makes a poignant statement and raises important concerns on Māori and Pacific health. Highlighting statistical data gleaned from the New Zealand Health Survey results for 2013 and 2014, the report covered the wide gap in health outcomes between Māori and Pacific and other ethnic groups. A staggering array of both causes and conditions were listed, describing a situation in which certain social groups experience a greater burden of disease than their existing counterparts (see ‘Health promotion, human rights and equity’ on the Health Promotion Forumwebsite).

 

Most of these outcomes can be attributed to social inequities; that is, those unfair, avoidable and unjust factors that impact negatively on the health of social groups. A closer look shows that these outcomes are systemic and relate to what Sir Michael Marmot has described as the social determinants of health (see HPF paper  ‘Health and social inequalities; issues of justice and fairness’)

 

In the article, interviewee Chrissy Paul touches on a number of key points as to why these disparities may persist. As she accurately points out, these outcomes cannot simply be put down to ethnicity. It can also be shown that they cannot be classed as behavioural or cultural but

 

 

rather structural i.e. how society is arranged. The entire breadth of a situation must be considered when questioning why any health outcome occurs. For example if Māori and Pacific people are experiencing higher rates of psychological duress then the reasons for this could emanate from a range of social, environmental, political and economic factors.  Chrissy further provided an important clue by referencing the fact that negative health statistics are found in “[Deprivation] Decile 10 areas,”  that is communities that experience higher levels of deprivation.

 

On this topic it is timely, for proponents of preventative health, that a nationwide discussion has focussed on poverty and the widening gap between the ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’. For example, Bryce Edwards, in his NZ Herald opinion piece on Monday 15th December suggests that  ‘Inequality’ could be the word of the year in New Zealand politics. The correlations between poverty and health outcomes are now very well-known and understood. It is true that poverty exists across all ethnicities but it is hard to overlook the stark contrast between Māori and Pacifica peoples and other groups.

 

Children are a case in point. The Child Poverty Monitor: 2014 Technical Reportshows that 1 in 3 Māori and Pacifica children live in poverty as compared to 1 in 6 European children. It also states that three out of 5 of these children are likely to live this way for many years. The impact of this on health across the life continuum is obvious, not to mention extremely costly. For example rates of hospitalisations for children living in the most deprived areas (NZDep deciles 9–10) were nearly 3 times higher than for those in areas with the least deprivation (NZDep deciles 1–2). Further the majority of hospital admissions were due to infectious and respiratory diseases among children aged 0–14 years. During 2009–2013, 82% of these admissions were for asthma and wheeze, acute bronchiolitis, acute upper respiratory infections, gastroenteritis, viral infection of unspecified site, skin infections or pneumonia (bacterial, non-viral). In many cases these outcomes were completely preventable.

 

One simple solution is to reinstate a universal child benefit; to lift not only poor families, but all struggling whānau, above the bread line. Other answers can be found in the Office of the Children’s Commissioners report Choose kids: why investing in children benefits all New Zealanders.

 

Making inroads into the elimination of child poverty may just be the remedy we all need for the ever increasing costs to the health system and our communities. Keeping people well, it seems, is the much cheaper option.

 

 

 

 

 

 

16 December 2014

Trevor Simpson

0

Case Studies, Community, News

A pilot sexual health training programme for Asian youth workers in 2012 provided invaluable insight into the best ways to reach Chinese youth with important sexual health messages.

 

Concerned by the high rate of pregnancy terminations occurring in the young Asian women of their community, The Chinese Women’s Wellness Community Group devised a sexual health training programme that provided culturally appropriate ways of reaching them with health information.

 

Fifteen to 20 volunteer youth trainers attended a one-day training session with experts from the Family Planning Association (FPA), Primary Health Organizations (PHOs) and sexual health providers. The Group also provided ongoing support and mentoring to the volunteers.

 

As well as training youth workers, the Group developed resource packs for distribution to citizens’ advice bureaux (CABs) and local high schools across Papakura, Manukau, Auckland City and Waitakere.

 

It is estimated that the volunteers went on to directly reached an estimated 200 young Asian women with their newfound skills and information, while the printed resource packs reached countless more.

0

Economics, News, Policy

Health professionals are calling for a comprehensive health impact assessment of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement to protect the health of New Zealanders. According to leaked information, international big business – such as the tobacco or alcohol industries – could sue the New Zealand government if the country’s health-based policies threaten their profits.

Clauses designed to protect the intellectual property rights of the pharmaceutical industry would apparently prevent PHARMAC purchasing cheaper generic drugs; making medicines more expensive in New Zealand.

health-review-of-tpp-image

“The negotiations are all being carried out in secret, and the little that has leaked out is very worrying,” says Dr Joshua Freeman, a spokesperson for the ten health organisations involved.

“New Zealand should have the sovereign right to make laws and policies for the wellbeing of its people without interference. Under the TPP it appears that New Zealand could find itself in the international trade tribunal if it brings in new policy around, for example, tobacco, alcohol, unhealthy food, or environmental regulation.”

Read the full media release.

 

28 October 2014

Jo Lawrence-King

 

0

A briefing by the New Zealand College of Public Health Medicine (NZPCHM) for the incoming Health Minister focuses his attention on seven key issues:

  • health equity
  • child poverty and child health
  • climate change
  • housing
  • nutrition and physical activity
  • smoking
  • alchohol.

Prescription for a Healthier New Zealand” describes the key health and social issues affecting the health and wellbeing of New Zealanders.

 

0

News, Policy, Racism

All but one of all the political parties of New Zealand have responded to last month’s invitation, by the Institutional Racism Special Interest Group (IRSIG), to state their position on addressing institutional racism in Aotearoa New Zealand.

racism_thematic

 

Responses were as wide-ranging as the political parties.  A brief paragraph from the Act party suggested the issue centres on preferential treatment of Māori, while the Green Party issued an in-depth statement acknowledging that health and wellbeing is a basic human right and needs to be upheld for all New Zealanders, regardless of their ethnicity.

The New Zealand Labour Party was the only party to decline to respond

Institutional racism is defined as “an entrenched pattern of differential access to material resources and power determined by race, which advantages one sector of the population while disadvantaging another”[1].  Present-day examples of institutional racism can be seen in Waitangi Tribunal claims and lead to inequities in health, education, employment and criminal justice outcomes for Māori [and other ethnic minorities?].

The IRSIG is a tripartite group, with members from the Health Promotion Forum of New Zealand – Runanga Whakapiki Ake i te Hauora o Aotearoa, the Public Health Association and the Māori Public Health Leaders Alumni.

Read the ISRIG’s report on the parties’ responses.

 

0

Competencies, News

A recent evaluation of HPF’s Certificate of Achievement in Introducing Health Promotion – often referred to as the ‘short course’ – has revealed that the course is highly valued by attendees and has had a positive effect not only on them but on their practice, their colleagues and, in many cases, their organisation.  Read more in our training section.   – See more at: http://www.hauora.co.nz/certificate-of-achievement-course-highly-valued-survey-results1.html#sthash.4vjgnBES.dpuf

 

student

0

Maori, News, Policy

Outgoing co-leader of the Maori Party, the Honourable Tariana Turia, signalled her support for public health and health promotion this week.  In a heartfelt speech, delivered on her behalf to the Public Health Association Maori Caucus Hui, Mrs Turia emphasised the holistic definition of health.  She proposed the use of the phrase mauri ora (life force) to better describe it and expressed her desire to see a relentless effort to achieve equity of health outcomes for all.

Minister Turia’s speech ended with encouragement to continue our work: “keep asking the curly questions; demand answers that are sourced in our own solutions.   We must leave no stone unturned until we can change the circumstances for the health of all our whanau, and enable all our families to flourish.”

 

guestspeakerhontarianaturia

 

“Health is not merely the absence of illness or disease; a medical condition, a pinpoint on a chart,” read Mrs Turia’s speech. “It must be found in the sense that one’s life is rich and vibrant; the capacity to take action; to purposely make life better.”  Mrs Turia referred to the World Health Organisation’s assertion that health is a ‘positive concept emphasising personal and social resources, as well as physical, mental and spiritual capacities’. “We must organise to do whatever it takes to improve, promote and protect the health of the whole population.  We must mobilise on many fronts – participating in public policy processes; sharing information; building our workforce.”

“It was hugely encouraging to receive the endorsement of such a respected member of our community,” said HPF deputy executive director Trevor Simpson.  “Minister Turia’s words closely match our mahi (work) and will spur us on to continue contributing to public policy, building the health promotion workforce and offering support and leadership to health promoters across New Zealand and the world.”

Mrs Turia went on to propose a new definition for health – mauri ora – which, she says, “is about whanau flourishing – about vitality, integrity and energy.   We find mauri ora through positive relationships in the wider environment…”

And she expressed a wish to see an organisation created – dubbed the Relentless Institute – that ensured every person on the planet has equity of access and opportunity to health outcomes.

Mrs Turia planned to attend the hui, despite it being just ten days out from her valedictory speech in parliament.  Unfortunately fog kept her plane on the ground in Wellington, so her speech was delivered on her behalf by Adrian Te Patu, Public Health Consultant and facilitator for the hui.

15 July 2014

Written by: Jo Lawrence-King

 

0

News, What is HP

Sixteen people met in Auckland on Monday 9 June to ratify the founding constitution of the world’s first health promotion professional society. “This is a significant phase in what has been a wonderful journey,” said HPF’s Deputy Executive Director Trevor Simpson, who has been a driving force behind the Society for the past 4 years.  “It was a privilege to be given this portfolio.”

 

trevor-prof-soc-jun-2014

 

At the meeting the health promotion supporters agreed the founding constitution of the Society.  It will be an independent organisation with paid membership open to anyone who observes the ethos and values of health promotion, regardless of their academic or professional qualification.

 

The next step will be to lodge documentation with the Companies Office with a view to creating a registered Society, a formal legal body.

 

The concept of a professional organisation in Aotearoa was first mooted 18 years ago and has undergone close scrutiny and questioning over this time.  Trevor Simpson is confident that this robust discussion around its establishment will result in a thoughtfully planned, “nimble, stand-on-its-own-two-feet organisation”.

 

Providing an overview of the history of the Society’s formation, Trevor referred to the country’s heritage of leadership in change and human rights.  “New Zealanders have shown over and over that we are leaders in standing up for what we think we should have,” he said; citing Te Whiiti (Parihaka), Kate Sheppard (votes for women) and David Lange (nuclear-free NZ) as just some examples.

 

Present at the meeting were two members of the Professional Society Interim Committee.  Ann Shaw, of both the PHA and the Cancer Society has been involved in the initiative since its inception. Grant Hocking, from Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), joined the committee three years ago. Trevor acknowledged their contribution as well as that of past members including:

 

  • prof-soc-agenda-jun-2014
  • Dr Alison Blaiklock (past HPF Executive Director)
  • Cheryl Ford (of Cancer Society Christchurch)
  • Helen Rance (past Health Promotion Strategist at HPF)
  • Grant Berghan (Public Health Consultant)

Read more about the Professional Society – history and ethics.

 

For further information please contact Trevor Simpson.

 

0

Diet, News

The NZ College of Public Health Medicine is backing the New Zealand Medical Association’s call for more urgent and coordinated action on the country’s obesity time bomb, claiming it will soon be a bigger problem than smoking.

 

obesity-image

 
With two thirds of adults and one third of children either overweight or obese, the College says that New Zealand is on track for obesity to overtake tobacco as the leading cause of health loss by 2016.
“We can’t afford to overlook the severity and long-term ramifications of this issue and how it will affect children as they grow and develop,” says College president Dr Julia Peters.
“What is needed is a comprehensive approach including legislative and regulatory controls, similar to what has been applied to smoking over the last 30 years.”
Programmes designed to address the issue need to focus on prevention, particularly amongst children and communities in which the epidemic is most profound. We need to be “making the healthy choice the easy choice.”
Fortunately, we have lessons from our success with tobacco control that can be applied to the obesity issue and also some examples of successful community based programmes. However, as a society, we need to galvanise around a long term, comprehensive strategy.
“This problem has crept up on us over 40 years and it is not going to go away overnight. A good place to start is the list of recommendations from the New Zealand Medical Association” said Dr Peters.

 

nzcphm

 

The NZCPHM and NZMA echo the recent call by Consumers International (CI) and World Obesity Federation (WOF) on the international community to develop a global convention to fight diet-related ill health, similar to the legal framework for tobacco control.  Read more.

– See more at: http://www.hauora.co.nz/obesity-worse-than-smoking-for-health-impacts-on-kiwis.html#sthash.hMzfxyuT.dpuf

0

Diet, Global, News

Consumers International (CI) and World Obesity Federation (WOF) are calling on the international community to develop a global convention to fight diet-related ill health, similar to the legal framework for tobacco control.

Unhealthy diets now rank above tobacco as a global cause of preventable non-communicable diseases (NCDs).

 

obesity-eating-from-stockxchng

 

The two international membership bodies will officially launch their Recommendations towards a Global Convention to protect and promote healthy diets at the World Health Assembly in Geneva.

The Recommendations call on governments to make a binding commitment to introduce a raft of policy measures designed to help consumers make healthier choices and improve nutrition security for everyone.

Measures include placing stricter controls on food marketing, improving the provision of nutrition information, requiring reformulation of unhealthy food products, raising standards for food provided in public institutions and using economic tools to influence consumption patterns.

Publication of the Recommendations comes on the 10th anniversary of the WHO Global Strategy on Diet and Physical Activity and Health, which recognised the impact of unhealthy diet and lifestyle.

Since then however, global deaths attributable to obesity and overweight have risen from 2.6 million in 2005 to 3.4 million in 2010, thus intensifying the pressure on governments to take stronger action to tackle the rising epidemic of obesity and consequent chronic disease.

Consumers International Director General, Amanda Long says: “The scale of the impact of unhealthy food on consumer health is comparable to the impact of cigarettes. The food and beverage industry has dragged its feet on meaningful change and governments have felt unable or unwilling to act.

“The only answer remaining for the global community is a framework convention and we urge governments to seriously consider our recommendations for achieving that. If they do not, we risk decades of obstruction from industry and a repeat of the catastrophic global health crisis caused by smoking.”

“If obesity was an infectious disease we would have seen billions of dollars being invested in bringing it under control,” said Dr Tim Lobstein, World Obesity Fediration Director of Policy.  “But because obesity is largely caused by the overconsumption of fatty and sugary foods, we have seen policy-makers unwilling to take on the corporate interests who promote these foods. Governments need to take collective action and a framework convention offers them the chance to do this.”

Here in New Zealand the Government has recently announced funding for the Healthy Families NZ scheme, aimed at reducing obesity and improving the health outcomes for more disadvantaged communities around the country.  Read our article from February 2014 on this initiative.

Obesity is a major risk factor for a wide range of non-communicable diseases. Figures show that in 2008, 36 million people died from non-communicable diseases, representing 63 per cent of the 57 million global deaths that year. In 2030, such diseases are projected to claim the lives of 52 million people.

 

Read the full recommendations from CI and WOF.

 

Press release from Consumers International

Photo: Byron Solomon – StockXchng.com

20 May 2014

 

0

Diet, Global, News

Consumers International (CI) and World Obesity Federation (WOF) are calling on the international community to develop a global convention to fight diet-related ill health, similar to the legal framework for tobacco control.

 

Unhealthy diets now rank above tobacco as a global cause of preventable non-communicable diseases (NCDs).

 

The two international membership bodies will officially launch their Recommendations towards a Global Convention to protect and promote healthy diets at the World Health Assembly in Geneva.

 

un-palais

 

The Recommendations call on governments to make a binding commitment to introduce a raft of policy measures designed to help consumers make healthier choices and improve nutrition security for everyone.

 

Measures include placing stricter controls on food marketing, improving the provision of nutrition information, requiring reformulation of unhealthy food products, raising standards for food provided in public institutions and using economic tools to influence consumption patterns.

 

Publication of the Recommendations comes on the 10th anniversary of the WHO Global Strategy on Diet and Physical Activity and Health, which recognised the impact of unhealthy diet and lifestyle.

 

Since then however, global deaths attributable to obesity and overweight have risen from 2.6 million in 2005 to 3.4 million in 2010, thus intensifying the pressure on governments to take stronger action to tackle the rising epidemic of obesity and consequent chronic disease.

 

Consumers International Director General, Amanda Long says: “The scale of the impact of unhealthy food on consumer health is comparable to the impact of cigarettes. The food and beverage industry has dragged its feet on meaningful change and governments have felt unable or unwilling to act.

 

“The only answer remaining for the global community is a framework convention and we urge governments to seriously consider our recommendations for achieving that. If they do not, we risk decades of obstruction from industry and a repeat of the catastrophic global health crisis caused by smoking.”

 

“If obesity was an infectious disease we would have seen billions of dollars being invested in bringing it under control,” said Dr Tim Lobstein, World Obesity Fediration Director of Policy.  “But because obesity is largely caused by the overconsumption of fatty and sugary foods, we have seen policy-makers unwilling to take on the corporate interests who promote these foods. Governments need to take collective action and a framework convention offers them the chance to do this.”

 

Here in New Zealand the Government has recently announced funding for the Healthy Families NZ scheme, aimed at reducing obesity and improving the health outcomes for more disadvantaged communities around the country.  Read our article from February 2014 on this initiative.

 

Obesity is a major risk factor for a wide range of non-communicable diseases. Figures show that in 2008, 36 million people died from non-communicable diseases, representing 63 per cent of the 57 million global deaths that year. In 2030, such diseases are projected to claim the lives of 52 million people.

 

Read the full recommendations from CI and WOF.

 

Press release from Consumers International

Photo: Byron Solomon – StockXchng.com

20 May 2014

0

Global, News, Policy

An in-depth paper published in The Lancet this February urges policy makers to recognise and address global political determinants of health inequity.  “Grave health inequity is morally unacceptable,” the authors say; it is a “global political responsibility” to ensure “transnational activity does not hinder people from attaining their full health potential.”

 

global-governance-for-health

 

The paper, produced by the Commission on Global Governance for Health challenges the ‘biological’ argument for health inequalities and places the main responsibility for them firmly at the feet of national governments around the world; calling on them to redress the imbalance of fairness and justice that currently exist.  “Despite large gains in health over the past few decades, the distribution of health risks worldwide remains extremely and unacceptably uneven,” say the paper’s authors.

“Health equity should be a cross-sectoral political concern, since the health sector cannot address these challenges alone”. The Commission recognises the crucial role of the health sector in addressing health inequalities it points out that the sectors efforts  “often come into conflict with powerful global actors in pursuit of other interests such as protection of national security, safeguarding of sovereignty, or economic goals.”

“This is a timely development for the discourse about our health and the wellbeing of our planet,” says HPF Executive Director Sione Tu’itahi. “What happens at the international level impacts directly on the local level, whether we like it or not: take global warming and trade, for example. Worldwide political determinants are rising fast but our governance and policy framework are still largely focused on local and national interests at the expense of our collective wellbeing. As a global family, we can no longer afford to focus on the room that we occupy when the whole house is battered by the storm.”

 

The political origins of health inequity: prospects for change

The Lancet, Volume 383, Issue 9917, Pages 630 – 667, 15 February 2014

Access the article online at The Lancet here (you will need to register, but it is free)

 

1 May 2014

By: Sione Tu’itahi

Edited: Jo Lawrence-King

 

0

Commission on Global Governance for Health calls on national governments to address global political determinants

An in-depth paper published in The Lancet in February 2014 urges policy makers to recognise and address global political determinants of health inequity.  “Grave health inequity is morally unacceptable,” the authors say; it is a “global political responsibility” to ensure “transnational activity does not hinder people from attaining their full health potential.”

The paper, produced by the Commission on Global Governance for Health challenges the ‘biological’ argument for health inequalities and places the main responsibility for them firmly at the feet of national governments around the world; calling on them to redress the imbalance of fairness and justice that currently exist.  “Despite large gains in health over the past few decades, the distribution of health risks worldwide remains extremely and unacceptably uneven,” say the paper’s authors.

“Health equity should be a cross-sectoral political concern, since the health sector cannot address these challenges alone”. The Commission recognises the crucial role of the health sector in addressing health inequalities it points out that the sectors efforts  “often come into conflict with powerful global actors in pursuit of other interests such as protection of national security, safeguarding of sovereignty, or economic goals.”

“This is a timely development for the discourse about our health and the wellbeing of our planet,” says HPF Executive Director Sione Tu’itahi. “What happens at the international level impacts directly on the local level, whether we like it or not: take global warming and trade, for example. Worldwide political determinants are rising fast but our governance and policy framework are still largely focused on local and national interests at the expense of our collective wellbeing. As a global family, we can no longer afford to focus on the room that we occupy when the whole house is battered by the storm.”

The political origins of health inequity: prospects for change  

The Lancet, Volume 383, Issue 9917, Pages 630 – 667, 15 February 2014

Access the article online at The Lancet here (you will need to register, but it is free)

 

 

 

 

 

February 2014

Jo Lawrence-King

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Economics, News, Policy

 

 

In a consultation draft published this month, the Ministry of Health (MoH) has renewed its commitment to health promotion as one of five core functions for public health.  It is inviting submissions on the service specification by 16 May.

 

In the Public Health Service Health Promotion Tier Two Service Specification, published by the National Health Board Business Unit, the MoH emphasised the importance of tackling the factors that determine health:  “Because of the focus on determinants of health, there should be less focus on the activities in personal knowledge and skills section, and a move toward approaches such as health in all policies,” it says.

 

The Health Promotion Forum of New Zealand (HPF) welcomed this new emphasis.  “It is encouraging to see the Ministry recognise the foundations of health promotion in the social factors that determine the hauora of an individual, community or population,” says HPF Executive Director Sione Tu’itahi.  “We will certainly be putting forward a submission to the Ministry to encourage this crucial approach to hauora and would encourage all organisations in health promotion to do the same.”

 

As the National leaders in health promotion, HPF has 25 years’ experience in the area; providing training and capacity-building to thousands of individuals and organisations. Tu’itahi continues:  “Health promotion is most effective when all five strands of the Ottawa charter are applied in an integrated way.  HPF would love to work alongside the Ministry to help it gain the best outcome from this crucial work here in Aotearoa New Zealand.”

 

As part of the Ministry’s greater focus on the health inequity and the social determinants of health, Health Minister Hon Tony Ryall recently announced a proposed new initiative Healthy Families New Zealand.  See our news article about the initiative here.

 

The consultation document is part of a review of public health service specifications.

 

 

Jo Lawrence-King

18 March 2014

 

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In a consultation draft published in 2013, the Ministry of Health (MoH) renewed its commitment to health promotion as one of five core functions for public health.  It is inviting submissions on the service specification by 16 May.

In the Public Health Service Health Promotion Tier Two Service Specification, published by the National Health Board Business Unit, the MoH emphasised the importance of tackling the factors that determine health:  “Because of the focus on determinants of health, there should be less focus on the activities in personal knowledge and skills section, and a move toward approaches such as health in all policies,” it says.

The Health Promotion Forum of New Zealand (HPF) welcomed this new emphasis.  “It is encouraging to see the Ministry recognise the foundations of health promotion in the social factors that determine the hauora of an individual, community or population,” says HPF Executive Director Sione Tu’itahi.  “We will certainly be putting forward a submission to the Ministry to encourage this crucial approach to hauora and would encourage all organisations in health promotion to do the same.”

As the National leaders in health promotion, HPF has 25 years’ experience in the area; providing training and capacity-building to thousands of individuals and organisations. Tu’itahi continues:  “Health promotion is most effective when all five strands of the Ottawa charter are applied in an integrated way.  HPF would love to work alongside the Ministry to help it gain the best outcome from this crucial work here in Aotearoa New Zealand.”

As part of the Ministry’s greater focus on the health inequity and the social determinants of health, Health Minister Hon Tony Ryall recently announced a proposed new initiative Healthy Families New Zealand.  See our news articleabout the initiative here.

The consultation document is part of a review of public health service specifications.

 

 

 

Jo Lawrence-King

18 March 2014

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News, What is HP

student

 

UNITEC has this year launched a new Bachelor of Health and Social Development with a major in health promotion.  Offered at its Waitakere campus, the course will begin in February or July, and can be full-time (for three years) or part-time.

Offering a pathway into a wide variety of health and social development roles, the curriculum identifies ways in which to empower communities to take control of their own wellbeing.  Students develop an understanding of the strategic organisation of health promotion and the use of evidence based research.

Lian Wu – who previously worked at the University of Auckland Medical and Health Sciences School – will be the Major Leader for the course.

The Health Promotion Forum of New Zealand (HPF) offers a range of training courses, including the Certificate of Achievement in Introducing Health Promotion.

For further information: call 0800 10 95 10 or email study@unitec.ac.nz

 

Karen Hicks

31 March 2014
Photo courtesy of Elvis Santana: Stock.Xchng

 

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Equality, Family and child, News

Child Poverty Action Group’s Associate Professor Susan St John has decried the Working for Families scheme and called for the correction of “the moral bankruptcy of a social security tax-funded payment for children that deliberately excludes the poorest children….”  This follows the discovery of a data error at Statistics New Zealand, which led to an underestimate of the number of families living below the poverty line.

The new figures released from the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) on 27 February reveal a worse household income situation than previously thought for Aotearoa New Zealand.

 

 

It is clear, from the revised statistics, that the Global Financial Crisis had a greater impact in 2009 on the incomes of lower-income households than originally thought. The 2011/12 figure for children living below the poverty line has been revised to 150,000 from the original 125,000.   The number of children estimated to be living below the very low income line during this period has been revised to 285,000 from 265,000.

“This is a huge indictment of the failure of government policies to protect the poorest children in a recession.” Her blog on the subject goes on to quote the Court of Appeal’s finding in 2013 that the Work Tax Credit policy discriminated “with harmful effect” against 230,000 of New Zealand’s poorest children.”

 

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Equality, News

Child Poverty Action Group’s Associate Professor Susan St John has decried the Working for Families scheme and called for the correction of “the moral bankruptcy of a social security tax-funded payment for children that deliberately excludes the poorest children….”  This follows the discovery of a data error at Statistics New Zealand, which led to an underestimate of the number of families living below the poverty line.

 

The new figures released from the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) on 27 February reveal a worse household income situation than previously thought for Aotearoa New Zealand.

 

It is clear, from the revised statistics, that the Global Financial Crisis had a greater impact in 2009 on the incomes of lower-income households than originally thought. The 2011/12 figure for children living below the poverty line has been revised to 150,000 from the original 125,000.   The number of children estimated to be living below the very low income line during this period has been revised to 285,000 from 265,000.

 

“This is a huge indictment of the failure of government policies to protect the poorest children in a recession.” Her blog on the subject goes on to quote the Court of Appeal’s finding in 2013 that the Work Tax Credit policy discriminated “with harmful effect” against 230,000 of New Zealand’s poorest children.”

 

poor-children

 

4 March 2014

Jo Lawrence-King

 

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Diet, Family and child, HP, News, Policy

mid section view of a man sitting on a bench in a park --- Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis

 

In an article in Public Health Monitor on 7 February, Prof Boyd Swinburn* took a look at the Australian initiative that has informed the Government’s proposed Healthy Families NZ initiative. His conclusion was that it could work, as long as the initiative is culturally-centred and backed with government policy and regulation.

 

HPF welcomes the Government’s proposed health promotion approach to obesity.  Like Prof Swinburn, we believe it will be essential to back the initiative with policy, regulation and the close involvement of the Māori and Pacific communities.

 

The initiative has been proposed by the Government to address obesity in New Zealand.  Modelled on Australia’s Healthy Together Victoria (HTV) programme, Health Families NZ  is expected to take a large-scale, community-based health promotion approach.  Little more is known about the New Zealand initiative at this stage, but health promoters and public health professionals anticipate it eagerly … with some words of advice for the government.

 

Health Promotion Forum (HPF) agrees.  “We have some great models to refer to in New Zealand,” says the Forum’s Executive Director Sione Tu’itahi. “Healthy Together Victoria is a wonderful initiative and will provide another dimension to the work that has already taken place here.”  Sione and his team believe the following will be essential to the success of the initiative:

 

  • Involve our Māori and Pacific communities.  Marry the Healthy Families NZ initiative with the successful Whanau Ora approach already running in Aotearoa New Zealand.  The success of Whanau Ora is based on self-determination.  Founded on the principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi, this model provides a template for success that translates across health promotion programmes for this country.

 

  • Revisit the Healthy Eating, Healthy Action programme (HEHA) to identify existing resources, experience and knowledge avoid ‘reinventing the wheel’.

 

  • Take a ‘top-down, bottom-up’ approach.  Community-based health promotion (‘bottom up’) needs support with policy and the regulation (‘top down’) of industries that impact on health, such as the food and leisure industries.

*Boyd Swinburn is Professor of Population Nutrition and Global Health, University of Auckland and Co-Director, WHO Collaborating Centre for Obesity Prevention, Deakin University.

 

 

Jo Lawrence-King

 

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Family and child, News

sad-boy-photo-from-stock-xchng

 

The release, on Monday 9 December, of the first annual monitor of child poverty shows that one in four children in Aotearoa New Zealand live in income poverty.  One in six live without basic essentials like fresh fruit and vegetables, a warm house, decent shoes and visits to the doctor.

 

It has long been known that child poverty creates life-long health issues.

 

According to Iain Hines, Executive Director of the J R McKenzie Trust child poverty today is twice that of the 1980s.  “If New Zealand’s road toll was twice that of the ‘80s ther would be outrage and immediate action taken to reduce it.  We need the same momentum and action on child poverty.”

 

Children’s Commissioner Dr Russell Wills says the project is about giving New Zealanders the full picture on child poverty and to get New Zealanders talking about it.  “Child poverty hurts all of us. It harms the individual child and it has substantial long-term costs to society. If we want to be a thriving, progressive and successful country – we’re not going to get there with 25 percent of our kids in poverty,” he says.

 

The Child Poverty Monitor is a joint project by the Children’s Commissioner, J R McKenzie Trust and Otago University’s NZ Child and Youth Epidemiology Service (NZCYES). For the next five years it will publish four measures of child poverty: income poverty, material hardship, severe poverty and persistent poverty. The initiative aims to raise awareness of the problem and monitor New Zealand’s progress in reducing each of these measures.

 

The Monitor is supported by an extensive technical report.

 

More information on child poverty and health can be found in our Children and Young People section.

 

Key findings of the Child Poverty Monitor 2013:

Income poverty: 265,000 children (one in four). This looks at the amount of money families have to pay bills and purchase everyday essentials. This is defined as having less than 60% of median household income, after housing costs are removed.

 

Material hardship: 180,000 children (17%). This means regularly going without things most New Zealanders consider essential – like fruit and vegetables, shoes that fit, their own bed and a warm house.

 

Severe poverty: 10% of children. This means they are going without the things they need and their low family income means they don’t have any opportunity of changing this. These are the children experiencing material hardship and who are in families in income poverty.

 

Persistent poverty: 3 out of 5 children in poverty are in poverty for long periods. These children are likely to live in poverty for many years of their childhoods. Persistent poverty is defined as having lived in income poverty over a seven year period.

 

Visit our Children and Young People section to read more, including reports from the Children’s Commissioner and a report from the Public Health Advisory committee.

 

Published: 10 December 2013

Jo Lawrence-King

 

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The release, on Monday 9 December, of the first annual monitor of child poverty shows that one in four children* in Aotearoa New Zealand live in income poverty.  One in six live without basic essentials like fresh fruit and vegetables, a warm house, decent shoes and visits to the doctor.

It has long been known that child poverty creates life-long health issues.

According to Iain Hines, Executive Director of the J R McKenzie Trust child poverty today is twice that of the 1980s.  “If New Zealand’s road toll was twice that of the ‘80s ther would be outrage and immediate action taken to reduce it.  We need the same momentum and action on child poverty.”

Children’s Commissioner Dr Russell Wills says the project is about giving New Zealanders the full picture on child poverty and to get New Zealanders talking about it.  “Child poverty hurts all of us. It harms the individual child and it has substantial long-term costs to society. If we want to be a thriving, progressive and successful country – we’re not going to get there with 25 percent of our kids in poverty,” he says.

The Child Poverty Monitor is a joint project by the Children’s Commissioner, J R McKenzie Trust and Otago University’s NZ Child and Youth Epidemiology Service (NZCYES). For the next five years it will publish four measures of child poverty: income poverty, material hardship, severe poverty and persistent poverty. The initiative aims to raise awareness of the problem and monitor New Zealand’s progress in reducing each of these measures.

The Monitor is supported by an extensive technical report.

 

More information on child poverty and health can be found in our Children and Young People section.

 

Key findings of the Child Poverty Monitor 2013:

Income poverty: 265,000 children (one in four)*. This looks at the amount of money families have to pay bills and purchase everyday essentials. This is defined as having less than 60% of median household income, after housing costs are removed.

Material hardship: 180,000 children (17%). This means regularly going without things most New Zealanders consider essential – like fruit and vegetables, shoes that fit, their own bed and a warm house.

Severe poverty: 10% of children. This means they are going without the things they need and their low family income means they don’t have any opportunity of changing this. These are the children experiencing material hardship and who are in families in income poverty.

Persistent poverty: 3 out of 5 children in poverty are in poverty for long periods. These children are likely to live in poverty for many years of their childhoods. Persistent poverty is defined as having lived in income poverty over a seven year period.

Visit our Children and Young People section to read more, including reports from the Children’s Commissioner and a report from the Public Health Advisory committee.

 

* Following the discovery of a data error at Statistics New Zealand and Treasury, these figures have now been revised: Income poverty is now recognised as affecting 285,000 children.  Read more about this error.

 

 

 

 

Published: 10 December 2013

Jo Lawrence-King

0

Economics, Evidence, News, What is HP

who_logo_c300

 

A new policy summary, issued by the WHO (World Health Organisation) on 4 November, reveals substantial evidence to support the economic case for health promotion and prevention of non-communicable diseases.

The document summarises data from a major international study by the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies, OECD and WHO/Europe.   The findings demonstrate the effectiveness of a wide range of actions, addressing some of the main risk factors to health including:

  • tobacco and alcohol consumption
  • impacts of diet and patterns of physical activity
  • children’s exposure to environmental harm
  • the protection of mental health
  • road safety.

While some of these interventions generate direct cost savings, many will require increased investment but generate additional health (and other) benefits.

The study will be published in 2014 as a book “Health Promotion, Disease Prevention: The Economic Case”.  It forms the basis for one of the evidence pillars for WHO’s Health 2020 strategy.

 

Published: 5 December 2013

Jo Lawrence-King

 

0

Community, Economics, News, Policy

tony-ryall-crown-copyright

 

An article published in the 20 November edition of NZ Doctor suggests the Government may be considering funding a community based health promotion programme in Aotearoa New Zealand.

 

Follow a visit to the “Healthy Together Victoria” obesity prevention programme in Australia, Health Minister Tony Ryall has acknowledged the value of implementing preventative health at a community, grass roots level here.  “This actually works,” says Ryall; “and if it can work in Australia, it can work in New Zealand.”

 

The programme’s success is attributed to an approach that values contribution and buy in from the local community, leaders and groups.  “Healthy Together Victoria” uses local councils to coordinate a team of health promoters, who work with local community groups. “It’s being evaluated, it works and it’s based on evidence,” says Ryall, who told NZ Doctor his officials have been looking at the Victorial model for several months.

 

The Victorian State Government provides communities with four or five year contracts.  Ryall believes the contract length is fundamental: allowing capacity-building at the local level.

 

The Minister stopped short of committing to the programme, but said “… I’m sure we could afford to do something.”

 

Subscribe to NZ Doctor

 

Article adapted from NZ Doctor article by Karen Hicks

Edited by Jo Lawrence King

Published: 2 December 2013

Photo: Crown copyright

 

0

Equality, News

manual-labourer-for-minimum-wage-story

 

An article published in Christchurch’s The Press newspaper proposes the way we engage the broader public in the inequality debate is to make the issue relevant to them. “The answer is to persuade people that they are affected,” says the article’s author Philip Matthews.  He suggests that the living wage debate is a good start to addressing the issue.

Matthews argues inequality is “not just immoral but has a social cost.”  Closing the gap doesn’t have to be a Left versus Right issue, he says.

The living wage seems to be capturing the imagination of the public more than the broader and less tangible subject of inequality.  Matthews theorises that, like child poverty, the living wage is a more easily grasped concept and therefore may be more easy to address.

Read the full article here.

 

 

Article published: 30 October 2013

 

0

Economics, News

uk-health-inequality-story-image

 

Papers published this month in England, Wales and Scotland further support the case for a reduction in health inequalities.

An article published in the UK’s Independent newspaper has highlighted the life expectancy gap between rich and poor in England and Wales.  Referencing newly released statistics from the country’s Office for National statistics, the authors conclude that the gap in life expectance is directly linked to economic inequality.

Another paper, issued this month by NHS Health Scotland has drawn similar conclusions.  The authors of What would it take to eradicate health inequalities? call for measures to tackle the underlying inequalities in wealth, income and power, saying it is likely the only way health inequality can sustainably be achieved.  The authors make a well-researched argument to support the link between life expectancy and these socioeconomic factors.  They argue that measures to approach the more directly identified causes of morbidity and mortality (such as tobacco and alcohol) will ultimately fail to bridge the gap.

Story published: 29 October 2013

0

Exercise, News

running-shoes

 

A recent study shows that exercise is at least as good as most medications at preventing death from heart disease, diabetes, and stroke.

 

The authors lamented the lack of research into the health benefits of exercise and lifestyle.  They pointed out that, over time, government health recommendations have become skewed in favour of medicines over lifestyle choices.

 

The study suggested that one implication of the results might be that more health professionals prescribe an ‘exercise’ pill for their patients as an alternative to – or in addition to – medications.  In New Zealand doctors can issue a ‘green prescription‘ for those patients they think would benefit.

 

The metaepidemiological analysis was published in the highly regarded British Medical Journal (BMJ) on 1 October.  It examined  16 meta-analyses, including 305 randomised controlled trials with 339 274 participants

Click here to read the study.

 

Article created: 3 October 2013

 

0

Global, Maori, News, What is HP

Health promotion programmes in Aotearoa New Zealand were held up as models of best practice in August at the annual conference of the world’s most highly respected health promotion organisation.   Senior Health Promotion Strategists from the Health Promotion Forum (HPF) are participating at the conference of the International Union of Health Promotion and Education (IUHPE) in Pattaya, Thailand, August 25-29 2013.

2013-08-iuhpe-logo-500x500

 

Trevor Simpson – Deputy Executive Director at the HPF – presented a plenary session to showcase a health promotion module developed by Maori and in close collaboration with the Maori service users for whom it was being designed.  “This is a point of difference from many other health promotion approaches to indigenous peoples,” says Trevor.  Very often health promotion resources and practices are developed centrally, with little or no involvement of – or representation from – the people for whom they are being developed.  “We have found our approach to be highly successful in inspiring and empowering people to make beneficial changes to their health.”

 

The HPF’s Senior Health Promotion Strategist Karen Hicks presented her abstract “A Contribution to the Global Dialogue”.  In her presentation she will discuss how health promotion competencies, the advent of a professional society and a code of ethics together give health promotion professionals the tools they need to make effective improvements in health.

 

New Zealand is strongly represented in health promotion globally.  The HPF’s Executive Director, Sione Tu’itahi, is Vice-President of the South West Pacific Region of IUHPE, while Associate Professor Louise Signal, Director of the Health Promotion and Policy Research unit (HePPRU) and Health, Wellbeing & Equity Impact Assessment Research Unit (HIA), Department of Public Health,  Otago University is its Regional  Director. Together the HPF and HePPRU co-host the IUHPE’s South West Pacific Regional Office.

 

 

 

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A New Zealand safe driving resource, “Just Another Saturday Night”, has received national and international recognition for its impactful message about alcohol and driving.  Featuring Jared Thomas, the resource tells the story of four young men, who drank alcohol and took to the road; driving up to 180 km per hour around a bend with a speed advisory of  55 km per hour.

The crash killed the driver and one of the passengers.  Jared – the front seat passenger – is now in a wheel chair, with little feeling from his chest down, while the third passenger lives with a brain injury.

Jared now visits schools and events to promote road safety. He has received an award for his commitment to this work.

The resource was developed by Senior Constable Iain Cheyne, from the New Zealand Police, and Linda Anderson, Regional Manager of Road Safe Hawkes Bay.

To find out more about the resource, please click here.

 

Entered: 24 September 2013

 

0

Family and child, News

Children’s health disparities require urgent action

 

“The large health disparities in the health status of New Zealand children, which have led to an alarming number of hospital admissions for a range of preventable illnesses, must be urgently addressed says the New Zealand Medical Association (NZMA) in response to this year’s Children’s Social Health Monitor report.”

 

Read the press release: From the New Zealand Medical Association 29 August 2011
Content sourced from www.scoop.co.nz

 

Key Points Emerging from the Children’s Social Health Monitor 
“…. the overall picture painted by the 2011 Children’s Social Health Monitor remains concerning, with one in five (20%) New Zealand children being reliant on Government Benefits as the main source of their family’s income, and the 2008 Living Standards Survey suggesting that these benefits may inadequately protect them from exposure to material hardship (e.g. having to wear worn out shoes or clothing, sharing a bed, cutting back on fresh fruit and vegetables, and postponing doctors visits because of cost). Further, while the increases in hospital admissions for medical conditions with a social gradient seen during 2007–2009 were less steep in 2009–2010 (and for Pacific children may be beginning to taper off), large social gradients persist for many conditions (e.g. hospital admission for injuries arising from the assault, neglect or maltreatment of children are 5.6 times higher for those living in the most deprived (NZDep Index decile 9–10) areas, and mortality from sudden unexpected death in infancy is 7.4 times higher). Key Points
Go to Children and Young People for more information and opinions.

 

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