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Manurewa's preventable illness problem: thousands of children affected, Foundation says

Updated: May 4, 2020

Middlemore Hospital, which services a catchment with concerning statistics for preventable illness in children.

Thousands of children are hospitalised every year with preventable illness, prompting a drive to improve childhood health in South Auckland's Manurewa.

According to the Middlemore Foundation, more than 3100 children in South Auckland are hospitalised every year for preventable illness.

The Foundation, which aims to improve health and education outcomes within Counties-Manukau, says children in the area under the age of 4 have a rate of preventable hospitalisation exceeded only by those aged 75 and above.

Now they're trying to expand their Mana-ā-riki programme into Manurewa with the help of Countdown's Kids Hospital Appeal.

Middlemore Foundation CEO Sandra Geange said Mana-ā-riki focused on providing accessible healthcare for families and aimed to detect and prevent potentially life-threatening diseases.

"Some of the diseases have their roots in childhood poverty such as cardiovascular disease, mental illness and drug and alcohol addiction. They all have their roots in the social determinants related to poverty," Geange said.

"We see it prevalent in Manurewa and we all have a duty and obligation to do something about it to ensure our children and whānau have an opportunity to thrive." 

As part of the Middlemore Foundation's campaign, Countdown's Kids Hospital Appeal is hoping to raise $1 million for sick and recovering children around the country.

The Foundation is a charitable trust associated to Counties-Manukau DHB and has previously focused on providing essential medical equipment to the hospital. 

Last year they raised money for monitors showing a baby's brain activity. But there's been a shift in recent times to prevention, Geange said.

"We figured we could make more of a difference by preventing children getting into hospital in the first place," she said.

The appeal runs until October 27 and people can make a donation by clicking here

Original source: Stuff

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