26 Jul 2016

Govt considers stance on pepi pods

5:46 pm on 26 July 2016

A researcher who advocates safe-sleeping baskets for babies in parental beds will hear in a week if the government will change its stance on funding them.

baby in flax sleeping pod

Photo: Whakawhetū

Auckland University professor Ed Mitchell, who researches Sudden Unexpected Death in Infancy (SUDI), is seeking $1.5 million to fund wahakura and pepi pods each year.

Today, the professor met with Health Minister Jonathan Coleman and his senior health advisor.

They had a broad discussion around the Ministry of Health's Safe Sleep programme and the minister would discuss it with his staff and get back to him in a week, Prof Mitchell said.

The ministry had previously said there wasn't enough scientific evidence to justify funding the flax baskets or plastic pods, despite no recorded cases of SUDI in them.

It said it was waiting for quality research that showed the benefits before deciding on funding.

Professor Mitchell hoped newly published research by his team would encourage the government to fund them for all at-risk babies.

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