NZ Pacific Covid-19 Webinar Series: Improving our Pacific response to Covid-19

Adapting to Covid-19 will be the new normal for every community around the world and the impacts are compounded for the most vulnerable groups within these communities.

That’s why the New Zealand College of Public Health Medicine, Pasifika Medical Association (PMA) and the University of Auckland (Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences) are delivering three webinars next month in November. Guest speakers across the health and medical profession will come together to discuss the Covid-19 response and strategies to improve engagement with the Pacific community.

PMA president, Dr Kiki Maoate ONZM, FRACS and PMA senior member Dr Colin Tukuitonga, MPH FAFPHM will be facilitating the discussions.

The guest speakers for the first webinar session will be Professor Michael Baker of the New Zealand College of Public Health Medicine and Otago University, Gerardine Clifford-Lidstone of the Ministry of Health, Meg Poutasi of the Auckland District Health Board and Debbie Sorensen, CEO of Pasifika Futures.

Dr Tukuitonga says the first webinar will focus on the Pacific response to the pandemic and the two lockdown periods in which New Zealand went into Alert Level restrictions.

“We want to pause, look what happened, look at how the Pacific community responded and see what we could have done better.

We will also be discussing the possibility of another outbreak and look at how it might affect the Pacific community again, and what we could do differently.”

He says the other two webinars will focus on the process and importance of contact tracing and will feature medical leaders from other Pacific nations, like the Cook Islands and Fiji. The Pacific countries representatives will share about their response to the pandemic and how they are keeping their communities safe.

He says the webinars are an opportunity for the community to hear about the hard work that’s involved in supporting Pacific families during Covid-19.

“We still have to be vigilant. The virus hasn’t gone away. These webinars will help our community understand what is involved in supporting them and keeping their families as safe as possible.”

As a health professional, Dr Tukuitonga is also promoting another topic he is passionate about – the Niuean language.

Originally from the small Pacific nation, Dr Tukuitonga acknowledges the end of Niuean Language Week by encouraging families who are from Niue and living in New Zealand to speak the language.

“The Niuean language is not as widely used here in New Zealand like other Pacific languages. The focus is trying to get families teaching their children the language in their homes because that is how we will retain the language.”

The first Webinar in the series is on Friday 6 November 2020 from 1pm – 3pm.

To join this event please see details outlined including registration on the flyer.

Follow the Facebook event here: https://fb.me/e/f2iJQGJl5

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Date: Saturday 24 October 2020