Back to top anchor

Improving the health and wellbeing of Pacific women in New Zealand

3 months
Approved budget:
Associate Professor Tupa'ilevaililigi Ridvan Firestone
Health issue:
Other (generic health or health services)
Proposal type:
Pacific Health Seeding Grant
Lay summary
This is a Seeding Grant application and the applicant was an HRC Postdoctoral recipient.The aim of the Pacific Women's Health Study is to improve the health and wellbeing of Pacific women in New Zealand. They play a vital role in the stability of the family and in the wider community. Pacific women also possess multiple roles as: (i) they are the key responsible person in managing family affairs; (ii) administrators for various groups of the church; (iii) as drivers for better education and training to improve status and; (iv) maintaining employment. These roles are aligned to improving the economic contribution, creating a strong network and support infrastructure, for the health and wellbeing of their family and community. Some of the main health challenges Pacific women face include: (i) having a high fertility rate, which is double that of the general population; (ii) issues with diet and obesity; (iii) high morbidity; (iv) a diverse range of health-related risk factors and; (v) socio-economic constraints. It has been reported that environmental risk factors for disease susceptibility only partially explain the increased risk, and that genetic factors may play a very small explanatory role for a few diseases, but by in large, there are unknown explanatory factors. There are still many unanswered questions due to: (i) the lack of quality or incomplete data; (ii) studies with limited sample size; and (iii) data collected on older people. This has led to speculative comments of possible environmental and heredity causes, thus further robust research is necessary. This study addresses the lack of quality and robust research and knowledge based on major health issues relating to Pacific women, young and old.