Students work to improve Pacific health

Samoan seasonal worker Niutaetasi Viliamu, of Balclutha, gets a medical check from Dunedin School...
Samoan seasonal worker Niutaetasi Viliamu, of Balclutha, gets a medical check from Dunedin School of Medicine fifth-year medical students Ray Li and Alexandra Jacobson at the Congregational Christian Church of Samoa yesterday. Photo by Jane Dawber.
The first Pacific Health Day was held at the Congregational Christian Church of Samoa in Dunedin yesterday.

The forum was initiated by the Pacific Trust Otago and Southern District Health Board to raise awareness about health issues among the Pacific Island community, University of Otago Pacific Islands Research and Student Support Unit associate dean Dr Tai Sopoaga said.

"There are some people from our community that don't have a GP. So it helps facilitate them to get registered with a GP," she said.

"It's also important for the university to reach out to the community. It's important for the training of medical students that they have an understanding of Pacific Island health. And the students love doing it."

A series of information stations had advice on common medical issues which can affect Pacific Islanders, including diabetes, breast-screening, heart, exercise, smoking cessation, dental care and specialised health information for women and the elderly.

More than 100 individual medical checks were completed during the day.

- nigel.benson@odt.co.nz

 

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