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Public health news from the University of Otago

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Joining forces against climate change

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Monday 5 September 2022

The Otago Tongan Students’ Association (OTSA) and the Otago Kiribati Islands Students’ Association (OKISA) co-hosted a climate change awareness fundraiser.

Rowing with a side of Italian gelato

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Monday 22 August 2022

Soaking up some genuine Italian culture in a relatively tourist-free town was an unexpected bonus for University of Otago students competing in the Under-23 World Championship rowing competition recently.

Ones to Watch: Maia Dean

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Monday 22 August 2022

Maia Dean is combining her love for physics, chemistry and math to carve out a path for herself and hopefully her community, too.

Student addressing the digital divide

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Thursday 18 August 2022

Second year Bachelor of Applied Science student Owyn Aitken (Ngāti Raukawa ki te Tonga, Tainui, Ngāti Māhanga) is perhaps one of Otago’s most involved contributors within the technology space right now.

New Bill marks the beginning of the end for cigarettes and tobacco in Aotearoa

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Wednesday 27 July 2022

Researchers from the University of Otago’s ASPIRE 2025 Research Centre, which carries out research to support the Smokefree 2025 goal, welcome the Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products (Smoked Tobacco) Amendment Bill that Associate Health Minister Hon Dr Ayesha Verrall introduced to Parliament today.

Acute alcohol use linked to one quarter of New Zealand suicide deaths - study

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Friday 15 July 2022

The authors of a ground-breaking University of Otago, Christchurch study are calling for immediate changes to Aotearoa New Zealand’s suicide prevention strategy and the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act, due to figures showing more than 26 per cent of all suicide deaths in this country involve acute alcohol use.

Janet Hoek wins Critic and Conscience award

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Tuesday 3 May 2022

Regulatory loopholes are contributing to increases in the number of young New Zealanders exposed to nicotine through vaping, warns the winner of the 2022 Critic and Conscience of Society Award.

Study calls for urgent regulation of unhealthy home deliveries

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Wednesday 6 April 2022

Ordering an online Uber Eats, other food, alcohol or vaping delivery from the comfort of your couch is hugely popular – but a new study is calling for urgent Government action, due to concerns unregulated, on-demand home deliveries may be damaging the nation’s health.

The price of keeping kids warm at night

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Wednesday 30 March 2022

The cost of heating a child’s bedroom through the night in a Wellington winter would run through 46 per cent of the government’s Winter Energy Payment, which is paid to qualifying beneficiaries and all superannuitants to help with heating costs, a study by researchers at the University of Otago, Wellington has found.

Nitrate levels in drinking water and bowel cancer

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Friday 4 March 2022

The formation of cancer-causing chemicals in the gut could be at the heart of understanding how high levels of nitrate in our drinking water contribute to increasing the risk of bowel (colorectal) cancer, New Zealand researchers say.

Urgent investment needed in deadly disease

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Tuesday 1 February 2022

Researchers are calling for urgent investment in the prevention of a devastating emerging disease that kills tens of thousands of people each year

Reimagining school uniforms

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Thursday 27 January 2022

School uniforms need a radical redesign to better meet the needs of students, particularly for girls, who are often forced to wear uniforms that prevent them from being physically active in their lunch breaks and from cycling to and from school, a public health researcher says.

Addressing inequities in cancer care

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Friday 21 January 2022

Three Otago researchers have secured significant grants for research aimed at addressing the stark inequities in cancer care and survival for Māori and Pacific peoples in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Call to report bottled water quality results on labels

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Thursday 13 January 2022

Bottled water is often perceived as clean and free of contaminants compared to tap water, but University of Otago researchers believe water quality results need to be printed on the label.

Discrimination placing LGBTIQ+ people at risk of homelessness

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Tuesday 21 December 2021

Discrimination in the housing market, as well as structural issues such as poverty, racism and instability, are placing Takatāpui and LGBTIQ+ people at higher risk of homelessness, researchers from the University of Otago, Wellington, have found.

A marathon year for Wellington PhD Public Health grad

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Friday 10 December 2021

While most people might feel like they deserved a break after completing their PhD, Caroline Fyfe, who graduates in absentia in December with a PhD in Public Health from the University of Otago, Wellington, instead set off to do a 44 kilometre run with a friend up and over the capital city’s steep hills.

Housing researchers win the Rutherford Medal, NZ’s top research honour

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Thursday 18 November 2021

Distinguished Professor Philippa Howden-Chapman CNZM QSO FRSNZ and researchers at the He Kāinga Oranga – Housing and Health Research Programme at the University of Otago, Wellington, have been awarded the 2021 Rutherford Medal by the Royal Society Te Apārangi.

Excellence in teaching, research and service

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Thursday 4 November 2021

Excellence in teaching, research and service have been celebrated with the announcement of the 2021 Otago Medical School – Dunedin Campus (Dunedin School of Medicine) Teaching and Research awards.