Māori over represented in West Coast Covid cases

Photo: RNZ
Photo: RNZ
Māori made up 22 per cent or 547 of all Covid cases on the West Coast up until April 25.

By then the region had 2975 reported cases.

The West Coast is 650km long and has about 32,000 people, with Māori making up 12 per cent of the total population.

The Hauora Māori report by general manager Kylie Parkin, to the West Coast District Health Board on Friday, noted 14 per cent of the Māori population had had the Omicron variant.

Those classifying themselves as NZ European made up 76 per cent or 2428 of all cases on the West Coast as at April 25.

By comparison NZ European made up 85 per cent of the region's total population with 8.8 per cent of that sector having had Omicron.

"Proportionally, Māori sit at 14 per cent of their population having had Covid with Pacifika 14.8 per cent."

The Equity Pathway for Hauora Māori had been embedded in the Covid Hub process, set up by the board to manage Covid.

West Coast Covid-19 cases by ethnicity. Photo / Supplied
West Coast Covid-19 cases by ethnicity. Photo / Supplied

Key components of the hub pathway were that:

• All Māori would receive a call from the hub kaiawhina (support staff) irrespective of their acuteness.

• A dedicated Māori kaiawhina workforce was in place to connect with Māori over the phone and complete initial assessment.

• Māori providers were receiving information at a daily hui convened from within the hub.

• Welfare support was being mobilised as quickly as possible -- with a need assessment within four hours of a Covid notification.

Parkin said there were some intangible outcomes as a result of the hub model of care including improved connectivity between Māori providers and the system, improved connectivity between Māori providers, and building trust with the goal of the hub that Māori/Pacifika were left better off after Covid.

It was also helping build a workforce within the hub model who understand equity "and are supported to deliver a pro-equity approach".

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