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Free quit card training for Maori staff

Te Puna Oranga, Waikato District Health Board’s Maori Health Service, is offering free quit card provider training to all Maori staff working within the Midland region on 30-31 May.

This quit card training is intended for all Maori staff who work with Maori patients, consumers, whanau and community.

When trained, these staff will have the authority to prescribe nicotine replacement therapy to smokers.

Te Puna Oranga workforce development coordinator Natania Katene said that prior to this training, health professionals were the ones driving smoking cessation efforts.

“The quit card provider training will widen the scope of those able to affect change,” she said.

The training days are linked to the Iwi Maori Council’s Tupeka Kore (tobacco cessation) Action Plan.

One of the plan’s targets is to train 100 quit card providers within the Midland Region.

“Fifty Maori staff attended a training session in October and November last year, and with 40 spaces available at each of the upcoming training days, Iwi Maori Council are likely to meet their 100 target mark,” said Mrs Katene.

The training is delivered by Sue and Teresa Taylor from T & T Consulting and will have a strong kaupapa Maori focus.

Tupeka Kore ‘activist’ Shane Bradbrook, will present at the training focusing on the fact smoking is the number one killer of Maori.

At the end of the training days, staff will be eligible to prescribe nicotine replacement therapy.

Maori health general manager Ditre Tamatea has taken on the role of smoking cessation champion for Waikato Hospital and in the community and he is passionate about the cause.

“Smoking has caused a loss of a lot of our people before their time, which also means a loss of potential and leadership,” he said.

“We lost a generation of leaders in World War Two – we are losing similar numbers of Maori to smoking as we did fighting in World War Two.”

“More and more we need to use who we are as Maori to reach Maori. If Maori see that Maori are providing this help, they are more likely to be interested and involved.”

Mr Tamatea said that although the smoking rates are high for youth, they are rapidly trending downwards.

“This training should help to keep that change trending downwards. Layers of approaches over time will make a difference.”

ENDS

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