NZ Pacific Covid-19 Webinar Series: The lessons learnt from contact tracing during Covid-19

Senior physician, Dr Corina Grey, who led a medical team responsible for testing and contact tracing within the Pacific community in Auckland during the Covid-19 crisis, says they have created a model that can help protect Pacific families all around the region. 

Dr Grey will be one of the guest speakers for the second webinar session today discussing the Covid-19 response and strategies within the Pacific community.

“We were able to establish some best practices so if other Pacific communities in New Zealand are impacted by Covid-19 like Auckland was during the second wave, then they have some guidelines. These include having nurses and staff that speak Pacific languages, access to strong well-being and social support networks and a working relationship with community partners.”

Dr Grey, a public health physician and a senior member of the Pasifika Medical Association (PMA), led the contact tracing within the Pacific community during both lockdowns, which was important during the second wave because it was Pacific families who were mostly impacted.

“We had to make sure that our contact tracing response was rapid, robust and appropriate for the needs of our Pacific cases and their close contacts.

Once a possible case is identified, it’s about making sure that they, and anyone else that has been exposed to Covid-19, were isolated and their close contacts were quarantined.”

The webinar series will run throughout November and are co-hosted by PMA, the New Zealand College of Public Health Medicine and the University of Auckland, Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences.  

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

Along with Dr Grey, the other guest speakers include Sandra Kailahi from The Cause Collective, Professor Shaun Hendy from the University of Auckland and senior nurse Pauline Fuimaono Sanders. They will be discussing testing, contact tracing and communications.

Dr Grey says people should tune in to hear what her team learned during the two lockdowns – especially how to respond to the outbreaks within the Pacific communities.

“When you are working with Pacific families and communities there are things you need to think about. People need to be spoken to in their own Pacific languages, so the information is clear and concise. Covid-19 is a new thing, so explaining the concepts and the preventative measures is important.”

The second Webinar in the series is today, Friday 13 November 2020 from 1pm – 3pm.

To join this event please see link here which includes zoom link details.

Follow the Facebook event here.

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Date: Thursday 12 November 2020