News, Pacific

Pasifika workshop thought-provoking

The importance of health promotion for Pacific communities was emphasised at the Pasifika Health Promotion workshop in Christchurch on October 19. The Health Promotion Forum’s (HPF) workshop was held at the Christchurch Bridge club and was facilitated by HPF’s Dr Viliami Puloka. It was attended by 11 participants who agreed they came away refreshed and eager to put into practice what they had learned. Damaris Dekker from the University of Otago, Health and Safety said the workshop helped explain the concept of equity for Pacific health among other healthcare professionals. “Great venue, well-structured day, great food and a good mixture of small group discussions and lecture format … It was a good refresher of knowledge and it was great to complete a workshop with a wide range of people, and to consider other perspectives.” Epeli Bogitini, of Te Whare Ngakau Trust said as a health science student the workshop was really beneficial to him. “It broadened my views about health promotion and how it is so vital for Pacific communities,” he said. “Very thought-provoking,” was Carmen Collie’s response. “I will now focus on reaching out to young Pasifika peoples with health promotion initiatives to stem the tide of NCDs (non-communicable diseases),” said Ms Collie who is from the Tangata Atumotu Trust. Ms Collie added that she also gained some great connections within the local Pacific community after attending the workshop. Lisa Suapopo, Tangata Atumotu Trust commended Dr Puloka for his “wonderful, passionate presentation”. “It helped me be more aware of other’s cultural diversity.” Dr Puloka who is HPF’s Senior Health Promotion Strategist specialising in Pacific Health Promotion said ways to help empower Pasifika peoples to achieve wellbeing and health and to move from knowledge to action were examined at the workshop. He said the aim was to have participants come out of the workshop not only more knowledgeable about the magnitude and impact of NCDs but better equipped and more competent to convey the information and help their communities in a culturally appropriate way. “Health promotion is all about empowering and enabling people to put all their knowledge and skills into action.” Banner pic: Dr Viliami, Puloka, second from left, with course participants at Pasifika Health Promotion workshop in Christchurch on October 19.