K’aute Pasifika joins COVID-19 vaccination campaign

A team from K'aute Pasifika Trust is now based at the Te Rapa COVID-19 Vaccination Centre providing vaccinations to Group 2 people in their community.

April 29, 2021

A team from K'aute Pasifika Trust is now based at the Te Rapa COVID-19 Vaccination Centre providing vaccinations to Group 2 people in their community.

This is a great example of how partnerships such as these are important in reaching our vulnerable communities.

Health Team Leader and registered nurse Terereawai Kipa-Kearns and her team have collaborated with the DHB to work from the centre over a few days to protect their over 65s and those who support them to live in their home.

Two vaccinators and three kai manaaki from K'aute Pasifika began working out of the centre from 22 April, vaccinating 40 people from around Hamilton on the first day.

Terereawai says that to help make the process easier, the team is providing a door-to-door service to get people from their homes to the vaccination centre and back.

"All through their journey we have one of our people looking after them. It started with kai manaaki picking them up from their home, transporting and greeting them as they checked in to the vaccination centre.

"Our own vaccinators were there to vaccinate them with our kai manaaki monitoring them in the observation area. After 20 minutes they were transported back home.

"We recognise that this is the best way to achieve COVID-19 vaccination with our over 65 population. We are always mobilising in our community as we go to them," Terereawai says.

She says it's also good for their communities to see K'aute Pasifika working right alongside DHB staff at the centre.

As the vaccination roll-out gears up to include the public, K'aute Pasifika is planning mobile vaccinations to make the process as easy as possible. This may include holding temporary clinics at churches and other community gatherings.

The organisation says aside from providing vaccinations, they're also boosting their education efforts as some in their communities are a bit uncertain about the vaccine. 

"Some of them are a little bit scared and hesitant as they hear lots of different things about COVID-19 and the vaccine. They have lots of questions.

Education fono with doctors and nurses are being organised to talk with the public and answer any questions. 

Waikato DHB Executive Director Māori, Equity and Health Improvement, Riki Nia Nia, says the DHB has been working with its Pacific health providers to deliver the COVID-19 vaccination campaign in a way which best suits their communities.

"Our Pacific providers know how to reach our Pacific people best. They are trusted in our communities and have the proven skills to engage effectively with Pacific peoples. 

The DHB is committed and proud to support our Pacific partners in any way we can."

This article was published with the permission of Waikato DHB.