10 Mar 2021

Govt SUDI programme too focused on bassinets - campaigner

From Morning Report, 6:38 am on 10 March 2021

A programme intended to reduce the leading cause of death in infants has not succeeded, and deaths have actually risen.

The Ministry of Health launched a national programme to tackle Sudden Unexpected Death in Infancy in 2017.

In 2019, 52 babies died of SUDI, roughly a 25 percent rise on a typical year. Maori rates are now nearly 11 times higher than European and Asian rates.

Long-time SUDI campaigner, and founder of the organisation Change for Our Children, Stephanie Cowan, ran the first government-funded national SUDI prevention program contract from 1992.

She says the current Ministry of Health programme places too much focus on handing out safe sleep bassinets.