New vans provide health boost for mums and babies

Health

Accessible healthcare will be the focus of a new hauora van in Auckland, protecting hāpu māma (pregnant mothers), their pēpi (babies) and tamariki from preventable diseases, Associate Health Minister Willow-Jean Prime announced today.

"Being immunised is one of the best things we can do to protect ourselves, our whānau and our communities,” Willow-Jean Prime said at the launch of the first of two new hauora vans.

“Mobile health vans provide an accessible and convenient way for hāpu māmā to receive antenatal immunisations, and that’s a key priority in Tāmaki Makaurau right now.

“It’s so important that health providers work in different ways to reach communities, and this van allows vaccinators to park outside a home, so they can be right where needed, without intruding inside.

“And while the van is designed to promote and administer vaccinations for hāpu māma and tamariki, it also can be used for cervical screening and other health checks.

“It’s both multi-use and mobile, and will be used for at home immunisation, as well as at local events in conjunction with community providers.

“Antenatal vaccination is incredibly effective at protecting mothers and newborn babies against serious illnesses like whooping cough and flu. Yet not enough women, especially Māori and Pacific women, know about this or are able to get vaccinated.

“Today’s launch is a further example of how the Government is investing in primary and community care.

“This is key to reducing pressure on hospital services and providing the care people need when and where they need it,” Willow-Jean Prime said.