A shared approach stimulates the SUDI hapūtanga class

Photo: Radio Waatea Image Database.

Adam Gifford

Selection of Fay Selby-Law | Director General of the SUDI National Prevention Coordination Service of Hapai te Hauoras

Maori public health educators are working together to try to change the dial on sudden and unexpected deaths in early childhood.

Fay Selby-Law, head of Hāpai Te Hauora’s SUDI National Prevention Coordination Service, says infant deaths have plateaued, with Whānau Māori still being disproportionately affected.

She says wānanga took place in Mataatua waka, with input from Patrick Salmon with his smoking cessation method Heru and Hapū Mama, prenatal educator Kelly Anne Spriggs and Whanganui weaver Jenny Firman, an expert in making wahakura pēpi pods.

Local services brought together māmā in need.

“Really, the things we were focusing on was that they were hapū, they smoked, they wouldn’t normally attend a prenatal education class, a hapūtanga class, and they were ready to weave a wahakura during this period,” says Ms Selby-Law. .

Hāapai Te Hauora applied for funding to run the program in Whanganui and Auckland where the highest number of SUDI cases occur.

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