Church partners vital to accessing Pacific families during Covid-19 resurgence

The on-going effects of Covid-19 continues to impact the Pacific community so health providers and church leaders are working together to ensure their families have the right support during this time.

South Seas Healthcare Clinic in Otara is one of the service providers that have partnered with Pacific churches in Auckland to offer support to their families.

Chief Executive Lemalu Silao Vaisola-Sefo says these established relationships are crucial as it allows them to engage with a large number of families faster to provide immediate support and share updated health guidelines.

“It’s around connecting them to services, so they are not going through this alone. We are also thinking of new ways to engage with these families and not wait for families to approach and engage with us.”

During the recent Covid-19 resurgence, the South Seas Healthcare Clinic supported seven churches, two of them had families who had tested positive for Covid-19 and linked to the current cluster.

Vaisola-Sefo applauds the church ministers who were proactive in reaching out for help and requested testing to be done at their church for their congregation.  The clinic tested more than 400 members at four churches in Auckland.

“The ministers have become facilitators for their churches and have played a key role. They know their congregation and know what kind of support they need.”

Vaisola-Sefo says his organisation and other Pacific providers will continue to work with their church partners to ensure the provision of effective support for Pacific families as their circumstances change through the crisis.

“During the first lockdown there was a need for basic urgent support which is mainly around food packages. Now what we are seeing are the social determinants coming into effect such as loss of employment and housing issues. These longer-term issues will be compounded by the current crisis and will therefore change already strained family dynamics.

 So, we will continue to provide support and work with our community groups and churches, to ensure our Pacific families are safe and cared for.”

To access a Whānau Ora Family Support Package please click on the following link to connect directly with one of our partners – http://pacifichealth.org.nz/covid-19-support/

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Date: Wednesday 02 September 2020