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Students meeting with the Dunedin Tongan Community 232x142
Pacific Immersion Programme for medical students in the Dunedin Tongan community.

The Teaching team within the Va'a o Tautai lead all Pacific Health teaching in the Division of Health Sciences across all Otago campuses as well as being the home for Pacific and Global Health within the University's Bachelor of Health Sciences.

Meet our Va'a o Tautai Pacific Health Teaching Team

Majoring in Pacific and Global Health

The Pacific and Global Health major focuses on the effects of globalisation, economic pressures and changing societies on the health of Pacific peoples in New Zealand and in neighbouring Pacific countries. There are two dedicated Pacific health papers in the degree:

  • PACH 201 Pacific Health: New Zealand and the Pacific Region
  • PACH 301 Pacific Health: Advanced Applied Knowledge

Within these papers students learn how to effectively engage with Pacific people and their communities to develop and create positive solutions within the context of health care and provision at a population level.

The course covers historical, social and cultural contexts to Pacific health, and strategies for understanding and addressing health inequities and key health issues. Students explore the application of Pacific belief systems, values, principles and ethical approaches related to health.

Graduates majoring in Pacific and Global Health will have a global perspective of health and well-being with the skills and knowledge necessary to serve the needs of Pacific people and communities and support Pacific and mainstream solutions to improving health.

Division of Health Sciences: Health Professional Programmes

Teaching staff from the Va'a o Tautai deliver teaching about Pacific health to health professional students across the Division. This includes an expanding curriculum in:

These programmes build foundational knowledge about Pacific communities and applied skills that will help students better serve Pacific patients and their families. Pacific teaching is immersive so we are privileged to be able to share the experiences and expertise of our local Pacific community as part of our teaching.

Postgraduate study in Pacific Health, Postgraduate study in General / Rural Remote Medical Practice

Va'a o Tautai is supporting a cohort of doctors in Pacific Island countries to gain postgraduate qualifications in general / rural remote medical practice. Doctors based in the Cook Islands, Samoa and Niue are currently studying towards a postgraduate certificate or diploma in Rural and Provincial Hospital Practice (RPHP), through the postgraduate rural medical programme. The largely distance-taught nature of the papers allows doctors to remain in-country while studying. Other facilitators are clinical synergy with rural medicine and linking to established medical training programmes.

Rural and Provincial Hospital Practice (RPHP)

Postgraduate rural medical programme

For the Cook Islands the Otago papers form the academic component of a vocational GP Fellowship programme. Five Cook Islands Ministry of Health (MOH) doctors have now completed the Certificate in RPHP (PGCertPRHP). One Cook Islands MOH doctor has completed the Certificate in Clinician Performed Ultrasound (Cert CPU). Niue Ministry of Health is developing a similar training programme with their first doctor starting on Otago postgraduate papers next semester.

Postgraduate research students

Va'a o Tautai also supports and encourages our talented emerging scientists with research opportunities as part of a wider Divisional commitment to Pacific health research.

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