19 Dec 2011

Education key to reducing infant mortality

6:50 pm on 19 December 2011

Hawke's Bay DHB's Maori Health Director says education is the key to reducing Maori infant mortality in the region.

Tracee te Huia says the most recently published figures from 2008, show nine Maori babies die per 1000 live births, which is almost three times the rate for non-Maori.

She says it's a figure the DHB is determined to lower by having hands-on programmes for young mothers.

Ms te Huia says the young mothers need to have a clear understanding of what they need to do to ensure the safety of their baby before they pick up the message as to what isn't acceptable.

She says, as part of its efforts, the DHB's Maori Health service asks new mothers a series of simple questions about sleeping arrangements for the baby while they're still in hospital.