Dr Guy Naden (Ngati Porou), GP owner of Mt Smart Medical, welcomed the opportunity to support the immunisation kaupapa as well as the practice’s local Māori community. Mt Smart Medical supplied two te reo Māori speaking practice nurses to attend Te Wananga Takiura o Nga Kura Kaupapa Māori Aotearoa in Royal Oak. They gave 47 flu vaccinations and Zovirax to tauira (students) and kaiako (teachers) during the session held during national Immunisation Week (30 April - 6 May).
It was the brain child of one of our business advisors, Lee Wharerau, who is 10 weeks into a 34-week (Rumaki Reo) full immersion course in te reo Māori at the school.
Lee says we have to think differently about access for Māori overall in our community - Were are they? How do we engage? How do we improve value?
“In this instance we are all sitting in class in close proximity on an important kaupapa and we cannot afford to be unwell and not attend, so it occurred to me, we need to front foot this before we get into winter and the main flu season.
“Mt Smart Medical Centre was enthusiastic to get involved, and our kura (school) also saw the value and agreed immediately to fund the vaccines. Given the opportunity, everyone saw it as a great chance to increase equitable access not just to Māori, but to support the tauira personal development while juggling work, family and study pressures.”
“We are willing and able to take responsibility for our own health outcomes as Māori given the right opportunity” says Lee.