Pacific Stroke Prevention

IMAGE: 2016 Pacific Stroke Prevention Champions (left to right): Sione Tupou, Losi Harford, Mark Anaki, Tai Faalogo (Stroke Foundation), Jo Jarden (Stroke Foundation) and Pelenatete Lam Sam.


Pacific Stroke Prevention Project Removes Barriers to Good Health

Pacific communities in Auckland are now more aware of the importance of regular blood pressure checks, the signs of stroke and the need to dial 111 for suspected cases. They are also more empowered to reduce their risk of stroke which is great news given Pacific communities are up to three times more likely to have a stroke when compared to New Zealand Europeans.

With a ProCare Foundation grant, the Stroke Foundation trained five Pacific Community Champions to weave their stroke experiences into a structured presentation on stroke prevention. Through 25 presentations to more than 1000 pacific community members, the Champions used storytelling to add relevance and weight to stroke prevention messages.

The Champions also attracted media interest with Tagata Pasifika, TV1 and TV3 news all running stories on stroke prevention. From June-July 2016, their work was also complemented by a national campaign, designed to raise awareness of the key signs of stroke and the need to dial 111 for suspected cases.

As part of the grant, a free blood pressure test was offered in Otara on the 10 October 2015 and again on 1 October 2016. In total, 272 people had their blood pressure tested, many of them identified as Pasifika. Those with concerning readings were referred to their general practice for further support.