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Thinking about quitting? - new resources

MidCentral Public Health Services in partnership with MidCentral Community Pharmacy Group (MCPG), Te Ohu Auahi Mutunga (TOAM) Stop Smoking Services, Think Hauora (formerly PHO) and Tihi o Ruahine Whānau Ora Alliance designed the "Thinking about quitting?" resources.
The resources will be helpful for people who are looking to quit smoking and those who support them. They provide a snapshot of the different forms of stop smoking medications available, information on cost and where to access the products from, along with contact details for local and national stop smoking services. Additionally, the brochure contains some real people stories. 
They will be useful for a range of services including local stop smoking services, DHB smokefree health promotion, MidCentral Hospital, midwives, Māori and Iwi providers, general practice, pharmacies and our communities.


Public Health newsletter for schools

Welcome to read Public Health’s latest newsletter for schools - March 2019, Issue 20. The latest edition includes information about HPV Immunisation, World Oral Health Day, Healthy School Lunch Ideas, Deppression In Children And Adolescents, Smokefree Vehicles and more. We encourage schools to share the health and wellbeing information in our newsletters with all staff, parents, families/whānau and caregivers - through their own newsletters and notice boards, or through copies being sent or emailed home.

Wacky Water Day 2019 in Roslyn

Wacky Water Day 2019 was another successful day for the Roslyn community.  Many families came out to enjoy free entry to the Freyberg pool, a giant water slide, tag of war and the foam cannon, just to name a few of the activities on offer. 

Public Health collaborated with the Heart Foundation to promote healthy lunch box ideas, oral health and smoke free cars. New World Melody’s kindly donated a box of fresh juicy apples that were enjoyed by kids and adults alike.

We look forward to supporting this awesome event again in 2020!


Public Health Health promoters joined the Army in February..


Well, for half a day at least! Staff participated in a recent “Wellness Expo” held at Linton Army Camp for Army personnel and whānau.
The theme of the programme was “Healthy Relationships at Work and at Home”.
Public Health’s Julie Beckett, Martin Macmaster and Sigrid Lindbom staffed their stand with the assistance of Sacha Malkin from Family Planning.

Martin promoted messages around Alcohol Safety (limiting supply of alcohol to minors and not drinking during pregnancy). Julie promoted Quit Smoking services and just so happened to meet a young female soldier who’d successfully quit following a conversation at last year’s Expo!
Sigrid and Sacha promoted Sexual Health messages  which involved a Beer Goggle slalom race around traffic cones (to mimic the affects of alcohol on your ability to stay co-ordinated) to then see who could put a condom on a demonstrator successfully in the fastest time which was competitive and entertaining for the competitors colleagues watching.
Overall the team interacted with several hundred of those passing through during the day (estimated at around 1,000) and felt it was an even better attended than the last year’s event.

“No Mother Intends To Harm Her Children.”


Yet recent research found that almost a quarter of women continued to drink after becoming pregnant and 71% drank alcohol before they knew they were pregnant.( New Zealand Medical Journal, NZ Herald )
This puts babies at risk of FASD!!
What is FASD?
FASD is Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder.  This is the name given to the problems a baby may have if the mother drinks alcohol during pregnancy. Problems can include brain damage and physical birth defects. Problems may be seen after birth, or they may not be noticeable until the child is school-age. A child with FASD faces lifelong challenges.
How can drinking harm your baby?
 When you’re pregnant, every time you drink alcohol, your baby is drinking alcohol too. All alcohol is carried in your blood stream, through the placenta, to your baby. Your baby can’t break down alcohol like you can. Along with the long-term problems that may result, your baby is more likely to be born prematurely and you are more likely to lose your baby through a miscarriage or stillbirth.
Can you drink at all?
No, there is no known safe amount of alcohol to drink during pregnancy. It’s advised not to drink any alcohol when pregnant. Alcohol can harm a baby’s development at any stage of the pregnancy. This can be even before you know that you are pregnant. If you’re trying to get pregnant, or there’s a chance you could be pregnant, don’t drink any type of alcohol.
What if you drank alcohol before you found out you were pregnant?
It’s never too late to stop drinking. This will increase the chance of your baby being healthy. Talk to your midwife or GP if you’re worried about it.
“If you’re going to have a baby, you want it to be the best it can be. Stopping your alcohol intake would be a good step.”
“Don’t Know – Don’t Drink”
The Health Promotion Agency has information on its website and also a “Don’t Know – Don’t Drink” campaign with its own Facebook and Instagram pages. These not only have good advice but put the serious message in a humourous, relatable way.
Partners and whanau can play an important role in supporting a pregnant woman to be alcohol free.
They can support by – joining her in being alcohol-free; discouraging others from offering alcoholic drinks; making sure there are non-alcoholic drinks available at parties and gatherings.

If a pregnant woman is finding it hard to stop drinking they can get help by talking to their midwife, doctor, nurse or other health professional, or contact the Alcohol Drug Helpline is also here for you. Contact them on 0800 787 797, or free text 8681, 24 hours, 7 days a week.

By switching our sugary drinks to water, we can move towards being a healthier community!


Why switch to water?
• Its brewed by nature
• Free from calories
• No chemicals, sugars or preservatives
• It's free
• Available on tap

Mid Central DHB would like to support the New Zealand Dental Association’s (NZDA) ‘Switch to Water campaign’. This year Olympian Eliza McCartney is the ambassador for the campaign. Participants are invited to take the challenge by switching their sugary drinks with water for 30 days.

Switching to water can be habit that you might just stick with. This campaign has options for individuals, schools and workplaces.
All participating schools will be eligible to go in the draw to win; Olympian Eliza McCartney school visit, $500 towards a water fountain, $500 towards sports equipment, All participating workplaces will be eligible to go in the draw to win $500 towards a team building activity


Tongan Women's Day in Levin

Public Health participated in a recent “Tongan Women’s Day”. It was community initiated by Ana Fifita-Tovo (Levin) and supported by Yvonne Hewson (Whakapai Hauora). It was a day-long event that was well attended by the community and other health providers.  
Public Health’s Julie Beckett promoted Wahakura and Pepi-pods highlighting safe sleeping practices for babies and the importance of being a smokefree fanau. 
In terms of Sudden Unexpected Death in Infancy (SUDI), Pasifika peoples have a 4x increased risk of SUDI vs the general population. Only Māori are higher with a 6x increased risk.
The pēpi-pod™ or Wahakura is provided as part of an education programme to assist families/fanau to continue to care for their baby in a way that is cognisant of their cultural integrity but reduces the risk of a SUDI.
The Tongan Women’s Day provided an opportunity to gauge fanau interest in developing a Tongan styled Wahakura. 18/21 fanau surveyed wanted more information. One barrier identified was how to gather the flax in a culturally appropriate manner.
Fay Selby–Law (SUDI prevention, Hapai Te Hauora – Māori Public Health) was then consulted. A weaver (based in Levin) has now been confirmed to support the Tongan women’s group. PHS’s role now will be in a supporting/facilitating role only. 


Positive Inclusion Award Winner

MDHB staff members Sigrid Lindbom, Emmett Roberts and Rochelle Shadbolt along with Enable New Zealand's Jay Khutze (2nd from left), with Diversity Works Chairman Michael Barnett.

Public Health has been part of setting up the MDHB Rainbow Forum to create supportive environments for gender and sexual diverse minorities. As a result of a number of staff-led initiatives, MidCentral DHB has now won an award for workplace inclusivity as part of the 2018 Diversity Awards run by Diversity Works New Zealand. The Positive Inclusion Award recognises organisations that demonstrate the importance of building diverse teams and are committed to inclusive policies and practices. 

We’re going where the air is clean!
Auahi Kore sign

The latest maps of New Zealand Councils Smokefree Outdoor Policies and Spaces have been launched.

This is a key resource for those in the tobacco control sector and may be used to support discussions with Health Ministers regarding the need for National legislation for Smokefree Outdoor dining. As the map shows, there is a real patchwork of inconsistencies, involved when some 70 LA’s act separately. For instance, in our region PNCC has a S/F outdoor dining bylaw and you drive 15 minutes down the road and MDC has green spaces. Leadership from Government on National legislation for smokefree outdoor dining could avoid this and would provide a clear national level playing field. The legislation would provide much needed help for accelerating progress towards the Government’s Smokefree 2025 goal. This would also reduce the workload for the tobacco control sector; we could focus more on reducing supply.
This resource can also be used to help the public find Smokefree outdoor parks, playgrounds, dining areas and beaches in their area that are controlled by Local Authorities (LAs) but also includes those business owners who have also volunteered to become a Smokefree as well.
Do you know of any outdoor Smokefree places we may not know about?
Get it put on the New Zealand Councils Smokefree Outdoor Policies and Spaces map by contacting Martin Witt:
For more information you can email Julie Beckett at the MDHB Public Health Unit:
Want to know where you can go to play, relax or dine in a Smokefree Outdoor Areas environment?
Click here to read the editorial or click below to access the New Zealand Councils Smokefree Outdoor Policies and Spaces maps


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