Pacific Women's Health
Pacific Women's Health
- Obstetric intervention rates and ethnicity- WHW Sept 2002
- Boost for Pacific people's policy - WHU April 1997
September 2002 Women's Health Watch
Maori and Pacific women who gave birth at National Women's Hospital in Auckland from 1992 to 1999 had much lower rates of induction, prelabour caesarean section and operative vaginal delivery than other women, according to hospital researchers.
This supports a 1999 Ministry of Health report that showed a relationship between lower rates of obstetric procedures and Maori or Pacific ethnicity. However, caesarean delivery rates for Maori and Pacific women at National Women's did not differ in total from those of other women. The lower rate of prelabour caesareans for Maori and Pacific women was offset by higher rates of emergency caesarean.
A hospital research team studied more than 43,000 first births of single children at the hospital, which were not preceded by previous caesarean section. Ten percent of mothers were Maori and 19% Pacific.
They controlled for factors including first or subsequent birth; maternal age, smoking; public or private patients; caregiver; hypertension; diabetes and preterm births. They were unable to control for maternal weight or the time of epidural analgesia. They concluded that lower rates of epidural analgesia for Maori and Pacific women may partly explain the lower rate of operative vaginal delivery.
Ref: NZMJ 2002; 115:36-9
April 1997 Women's Health Update
Input on new directions for Pacific people's health is being sought through Making a Difference: Strategic Initiatives for the Health of Pacific People, a consultation document recently issued by the Public Health Group of the Ministry of Health.
The practical initiatives were developed by Pacific people inside and outside the ministry, and are based on a philosophy of 'mainstreaming' health services: the belief that the needs of Pacific people living in New Zealand should be met by the same services which provide for the rest of the community, but involving Pacific people in the design and implementation.
'Projects and plans to reduce inequities must be carried out not for Pacific people, but with them,' says the report.
The report catalogues areas where Pacific people's health falls below other New Zealanders. Although overall death rates for Pacific males and females are lower than for the total population, hospitalisation rates are higher. Many people do not have a regular general practitioner (16%) and hospital A&E departments are seen as the most appropriate place to go for such things as asthma management. Cost inhibits access to health services... Read More
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