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Mobile COVID-19 clinics highlighted

Monday 8 November 2021 9:17am

suzanne pitama image
Associate Dean Māori and Professor at the University of Otago, Christchurch, Suzanne Pitama.

A new video produced by Ngāi Tahu and the Canterbury DHB is showcasing an important University of Otago-led initiative helping Māori get vaccinated in culturally safe spaces.

The Māori Indigenous Health Institute (MIHI,) based at the University of Otago’s Christchurch campus, responded in May to work alongside Ngāi Tuahuriri, as mana whenua, and Manawhenua ki Waitaha, a collective of the seven Ngāi Tahu rūnaka within Canterbury DHB’s rohe, to meet their aspirations to provide a kaupapa Māori mobile vaccination clinic.

“Being able to co-design this initiative alongside mana whenua, deliver an evidence based kaupapa Māori service in the community, and have a Māori workforce to delivery this initiative has been amazing.”

The MIHI Mobile Vaccine Clinics administered its first vaccine shot at Tuahiwi Marae, on 28 May, and have since administered more than 5000 vaccine doses in marae and kura throughout the region.

A new video has been commissioned in partnership with the Canterbury DHB and Ngāi Tahu to promote local vaccination initiatives being driven by the community.

The video, which showcases the clinic at Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Whakapūmau, hears from a number of whānau about why they have chosen to get vaccinated at the kura.

Both MIHI and Māori staff from the DHB have committed staff to the clinics, with each vaccination site hosting seven Māori administrators and health professionals at each.

In total, there are around 20 administrators and health professionals the mobile clinics can call upon.

Associate Dean Māori and Professor at the University of Otago, Christchurch, Suzanne Pitama says everyone in her team has helped with the initiative since it started in May.

“Being able to co-design this initiative alongside mana whenua, deliver an evidence based kaupapa Māori service in the community, and have a Māori workforce to delivery this initiative has been amazing,” she says.

“This has been a privileged space to work within for our team.”

You can check out the video here.