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Public health news from the University of Otago

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New Zealand housing lacking basic amenities, new report finds

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Thursday 13 May 2021

Five per cent of New Zealand houses lack at least one of six basic amenities including drinkable tap water, electricity, a toilet, and a kitchen sink, a new report from the He Kāinga Oranga Housing and Health Research Programme at the University of Otago, Wellington has found.

Researchers welcome Smokefree 2025 Action Plan

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Thursday 15 April 2021

Researchers from the University of Otago’s ASPIRE 2025 Research Centre, which carries out research to support the Smokefree 2025 goal, have welcomed and endorsed the action plan for achieving a Smokefree Aotearoa by 2025 released by Associate Health Minister Dr Ayesha Verrall today.

Pump up the volume on quality school PE, researchers urge

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Friday 12 March 2021

Increasing the amount of time schools devote to physical education each week could dramatically reduce the number of children who are doing only minimal levels of exercise, researchers from the University of Otago, Wellington and Sport New Zealand have found.

We must have a better plan for the next pandemic, say Otago researchers

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Wednesday 10 March 2021

Aotearoa New Zealand’s next pandemic plan needs a completely different approach to our previous plan that was focussed on influenza, say researchers from the University of Otago, Wellington in a new article that identifies key lessons from the COVID-19 response for managing future major outbreaks and pandemics.

Private health patients costing public system $11.5m a year

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Wednesday 24 February 2021

Taxpayers are footing an annual bill of up to $11.5 million – the cost of 760 hip replacements - for patients who need public hospital care after private inpatient treatment, a new University of Otago study reveals.

Women supporting women in making change to energy poverty

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Thursday 18 February 2021

When Dr Kim O’Sullivan returned to her high school to speak with students as part of her post-doctoral research; it was the beginning of a new chapter for (then) high school student Isobel Harris Clark.

Targeted health messaging needed in era of vaping, researchers say

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Wednesday 27 January 2021

Health authorities should develop targeted health messages for vaping product and e-liquid packaging to encourage smokers to switch from cigarettes to e-cigarettes and to prevent non-smokers from taking up vaping, a researcher at the University of Otago, Wellington says.

Ones to Watch: Rebekah Amitrano

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Wednesday 27 January 2021

“I’ve known for a long time that I want to do something that helps people and I decided law was a way of helping many people at once.”

Care urged before banning people entering NZ from the UK

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Wednesday 13 January 2021

The Government should be careful about banning people entering New Zealand from specific countries based on the presence of variants of the virus that causes COVID-19, given most countries are not testing for variants, University of Otago experts say.

Marsden Grants for Wellington research

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Monday 14 December 2020

Three researchers at the University of Otago, Wellington, have received grants from the Marsden Fund to conduct research into topics ranging from tissue grafting to youth substance use to energy use in a warming world.

Eliminating COVID-19: what the world can learn from NZ and Taiwan

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Thursday 22 October 2020

Both Taiwan and New Zealand have successfully eliminated COVID-19 with world-leading pandemic responses. By taking a particularly proactive approach, Taiwan’s response was probably the most effective and least disruptive of any country’s, researchers say.

Professor John Broughton Retires

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Monday 24 August 2020

Professor John Broughton (Ngāi Tahu, Ngāti Kahungunu Ki Heretaunga), who has now retired from his position in the Department of Preventive and Social Medicine (PSM).

Updates from the NTMHRU, post COVID-19

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Monday 3 August 2020

Welcome back to our tauira! We hope you are looking forward to semester two studies and catching up with your mates. If you need support, come and see us and/or apply for the tautoko hardship fund. Read more about the Māori response to COVID-19 and Urutā in this article too. 

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.