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Public health news from the University of Otago

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Otago scientists secure more than $26m for health research

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Tuesday, 30 June 2020

University of Otago, Wellington infectious diseases expert Professor Michael Baker has received almost $5 million from the Health Research Council for a programme investigating the connection between infectious diseases and long-term conditions, something he was planning well prior to the outbreak of Covid-19.

Otago and COVID-19: Playing our part

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Friday, 5 June 2020

A campaign highlighting the role Otago’s academics and medical experts have played in shaping New Zealand’s response to COVID-19 will be released this weekend.

Smoking cannabis causes bronchitis and changes to lung function

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Monday, 18 May 2020

Cannabis is harmful to the lungs, but in a different way to tobacco, causing significant respiratory symptoms such as bronchitis with evidence to suggest it can result in destructive lung disease – sometimes referred to as ‘bong lung’ – in heavy cannabis users.

Damp and mouldy housing new measure in latest deprivation index

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Thursday, 30 January 2020

Damp and mouldy housing has been included as an indicator of socioeconomic deprivation in New Zealand by University of Otago researchers developing the latest version of the New Zealand Index of Socioeconomic Deprivation (NZDep2018).

Otago global health institute invests in research with Fiji and East Timor

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Monday, 13 January 2020

The Otago Global Health Institute, a flagship research centre of the University of Otago, is investing in new research initiatives in collaboration with the Fiji National University and the National University of East Timor to help address health problems in these countries.

Experiences of Boko Haram women focus of PhD

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Friday, 13 December 2019

After working with women displaced by Boko Haram, a University of Otago graduate wants to walk alongside them as they work to improve their communities.

Seven inaugural Sesquicentennial Distinguished Chair appointments to mark 150th

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Monday, 30 September 2019

In a new initiative, the University is celebrating its internationally acclaimed scholars by creating a prestigious new role - the Sesquicentennial Distinguished Chair (Poutoko Taiea).

Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori

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Monday, 9 September 2019


I tērā wiki i whakanui mātou Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori.

Otago academic to head new national cancer strategy

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Monday, 2 September 2019

The new interim National Director of Cancer Control, University of Otago academic Professor Diana Sarfati, believes lives will be saved as a result of the new National Cancer Action Plan.

Teenagers say ‘nope’ to dope

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Friday, 16 August 2019

New research from the University of Otago, Wellington, has shed light on the declining use of cannabis use by teens.

RNZ interview with Dr Kaaren Mathias CIH Adjunct Research Fellow based in India

Monday, 5 August 2019

RNZ interview with Dr Kaaren Mathias CIH Adjunct Research Fellow based in India.  Dr Kaaren Mathias is medical doctor who's been living in India since 2006. She's working in community health and development as well as being involved in a number of other projects helping to improve both the physical and mental health of the people in communities in Uttarakhand.

Old vaccine brings new surprises

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Friday, 19 July 2019

New research about an old vaccine – one that has been in use for nearly 100 years – has not only shown how effective it is but also suggests it improves our immune response to a wider range of bacteria than originally intended.