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Public health news from the University of Otago

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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.

Māori-led research at Otago awarded more then $3m in HRC funding

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Thursday, 27 June 2019

Māori researchers from the University of Otago have been granted more than $3 million in funding from the Health Research Council (HRC) to tackle a wide range of projects ranging from water safety to disability support access for Māori - including our very own Dr Emma Wyeth.

Butting Out: Researchers gauge public opinion on tobacco product waste

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Friday, 14 June 2019

Requiring cigarettes to contain biodegradable filters, fining smokers who litter cigarette butts and expanding smoke free outdoor areas are measures the public considers are most likely to reduce tobacco product waste, new University of Otago research reveals.