News, Pacific

Wellbeing from knowing to doing

Looking at ways to help empower Pasifika peoples to achieve wellbeing and health – moving from knowledge to action – will be the main aim of the Pacific Health Promotion workshop in Christchurch on October 19. Dr Viliami Puloka who will be conducting the workshop at the Christchurch Bridge Club says if you are working with Pacific people , this workshop is for you. It is only the second time the workshop will be held in the garden city so get in quick to secure a spot and click here to complete the online registration form. Dr Puloka who is the Health Promotion Forum’s (HPF) Senior Health Promotion Strategist specialising in Pacific Health Promotion says discussions at the workshop will centre around health issues that plague Pacific Islanders and Maori and how they impact the wellbeing of the Pacific community. “They are at the top of the list for a range of health issues such as obesity, diabetes, heart and lung disease. There are many external determinants that contribute to this and we will be examining these at the workshop,” he says. Basic knowledge and understanding of the four main risk factors that are common to all the main NCDs will be discussed from a determinant of health perspective. Dr Puloka wants participants to 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. “In this workshop we are looking beyond biology and genetics to social, cultural and economic factors that prevent us from achieving optimum health and wellbeing. Many of these social factors are beyond the control of individuals and their families. Together we will explore ways to deal with these issues in our everyday living. “Health promotion is all about empowering and enabling people to put all their knowledge and skills into action. “I think if we are to win them over we have to touch their hearts. Then we have a better chance of touching their minds – moving their hands and feet to action,” he adds. A self-evaluation tool looking at how competent participants are in promoting health to Pacific communities as Pacific health promoters will also be included for discussion.   Dr Viliami Puloka, pictured speaking at the Pacific Wave Forum in August, is a public health physician with a special interest in diabetes and obesity. He brings with him a unique Pacific experience and has gained a broad social and cultural appreciation from working with the diverse and unique isolated islands of the Pacific.