Thursday, December 9

Home isolation of a Covid-19 patient fails Maori, Pasifika – councilor

An Auckland councilor says he is astonished by the lack of cultural awareness shown by the authorities towards the Maori and Pacific communities at this stage of the pandemic.

Taking a corona virus test sample at home, quarantine concept

Photo: 123RF

Manukau Neighborhood Councilor Ephesus Collins said Covid-19 has become a Maori and Pacific outbreak, with South Auckland in particular hit hardest.

He said calls over the past year for Maori and Pacific representatives to be at the decision-making table had been largely ignored.

Collins said those who design the answer seem to have little knowledge of the communities, and it shows.

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Ephesus Collins
Photo: RNZ

“[We should have] people on the ground who understand our communities; From the beginning, our request was that they be around the decision-making table.

“For this reason, these decisions are so far unrelated and disconnected from the realities on the ground.”

Collins said that the government’s process for dealing with people in self-isolation is not practical is a glaring example.

This week, two Covid-19 patients died while isolating themselves at home.

On Friday, a man in his fifties died in a Mount Eden apartment block after leaving the hospital on Wednesday.

And a 40-year-old man died while isolating himself in Manukau on Wednesday.

The cause of death has not been determined in either case, but the Health Ministry said the deaths are being considered as part of a broader systemic review being conducted with the Auckland DHBs.

Collins said authorities were warned that self-isolation would not work and that for many families in South Auckland it is almost impossible.

“You know, the Ministry of Health says that everyone is sent an email. I think it’s time to be realistic, none of us read the emails.

“And so I think that is the level of lack of intelligence that perhaps we are seeing from the Ministry of Health because they are not on the ground, they do not understand our communities.”

Collins said health care reforms cannot come soon enough.

Collins’ criticism comes as Whānau Ora is fighting the health ministry in court to try to gain access to the personal data of unvaccinated Maori given to them.

The organization wants to use the data to lead campaigns to increase vaccination rates among Maori.

The Ministry has promised to provide some of the requested information. Agreed to provide individual vaccination status for previous clients of Whānau Ora services, and anonymous street level vaccination status data, to show unvaccinated areas in communities.

While the Ministry has so far refused to release all the personalized data, after a High Court ruling this week, it agreed to work with Whānau Ora to identify the places where it is “most necessary to communicate with Maori” and identify what data is need to share. in those cases.

South Auckland health workers go door to door

Manurewa-Papakura District Councilor Daniel Newman said the ministry’s vaccination campaign had fallen short and left too many people vulnerable to the virus.

He said the government’s failure to set vaccination targets for Maori is already having consequences, and that is reflected in hospitalization statistics.

In her neighborhood, frontline health workers have resorted to door-to-door visits in an effort to reach vulnerable and vaccine-questioning residents.

However, that could potentially expose them to people who are infectious with the virus and isolate themselves at home, he said.

He called on the government to protect healthcare workers by letting them know where people are isolated at home with Covid-19.

“It is really important that we stay safe, because not only do we need to protect our own health, but we cannot become conduits for Covid-19 ourselves.

“The important thing for us is that we have enough scale to be able to reach enough people as soon as possible.”

He said the door-to-door evaluation was necessary: ​​”We are in a race against Covid-19 that is being seeded in those streets, we need to protect people before they feel bad.”

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