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Range of measures introduced as part of Covid-19 response

Since the Level 3 and 4 Covid-19 alerts were announced by the government a week ago, Ngati Porou Hauora has actioned a range of measures to help prevent the spread of Te Mate Karauna (Corona virus) and created new systems to deal with cases identified within our rohe.

Virtual consultation process working

One of the first immediate actions was the introduction of the process to access medical advice from Hauora clinics. The majority of consultations are now conducted by phone or video call,instead of kanohi ki te kanohi, and Ngati Porou Hauora Chief Executive, Rose Kahaki, says the new system is working well.

“Our Hauora clinics and their respective communities have adapted quickly to this new process,and the results are very noticeable. There has been very little foot traffic within our clinics andour hospital, which is helping to reduce the risk of community transmission to our patients, theirwhanau and our kaimahi.”

Adapting to a constantly evolving environment

“Our Hauora kaimahi have taken on huge workloads and pressure to help us to prepare and respond to this ‘unprecedented’ situation,” says Rose.

“In a very short space of time, they have had to constantly learn new protocols and procedures in line with the Covid-19 directives from the Ministry of Health. Because this virus is so new, and the guidance we receive from the Ministry and government changes on an almost daily basis,we all have had to constantly re-think and re-adjust how we do things and what resources we need.”

“However, this issue isn’t only isolated to Ngati Porou Hauora. All over the motu, from the smallest PHOs to the biggest DHBs in the country, we all have had to adapt to a constantly evolving environment. None of us in this modern era, have ever dealt with a global pandemic,but we are quickly adapting and learning what we need to do to look after our communities here at home.”

Continuation of Home-Based Support services to pakeke

Included within the scope of NPH kaimahi who have had to quickly adapt, are the Caregivers who assist pakeke with their home-help needs.

“We have an amazing workforce of around 46 Caregivers out there, all members of our communities, who have stepped up and taken on the additional protocols for caring for our pakeke in their homes,“ says Rose.

“They are well aware of the risks of community transmission and are vigilant in undertaking the necessary new procedures, such as the wearing of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) gear.As essential service workers, their contribution to helping us to continue to provide services under the present conditions to our pakeke is invaluable.”

Community support vital

Although the necessary systems are being put in place across Ngati Porou Hauora, Rose acknowledges support from the community is extremely vital in helping to combat Te Mate Karauna within the rohe.

“We thank members of the community who have been adhering to the ‘Noho ki te kainga’ message. It really is true - Stay Home and Save Lives. As the Iwi health services provider, we can only do so much. However, if we all work together, to follow the guidelines that have been set, we can help protect our most vulnerable from this ngangara Mate Karauna.”

• If you think you may have Covid-19 symptoms, please call the Healthline number 0800 358 5453. If you can’t get through to the Healthline, call your local NPH health clinic or Te Puia Hospital (06) 864 6803.

• For more information about Covid-19 go to the official website www.covid19.govt.nz or the Ministry of Health website www.health.govt.nz/our-work/diseases-and-conditions/covid-19-novel-coronavirus

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