Hāpai Te Hauora has been awarded the Ministry of Health contract to deliver the national SUDI prevention coordination service for the newly designed national SUDI prevention programme.

SUDI (Sudden Unexpected Death in Infancy) is an umbrella term to describe unexpected death in infancy which includes sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), unintentional suffocation and previously unidentified diseases in the infants affected.

The national SUDI prevention programme will support the Government’s push to reduce the overall rate of SUDI by 86 per cent and 94 per cent for Maori by 2025, which will aim to cut the number of SUDI deaths from 44 to six. It will target two of the biggest preventable risks for SUDI, which are being exposed to tobacco smoke during pregnancy and having the baby share a bed. It will also address other risk factors needed to reduce SUDI rates, including immunisation, breastfeeding, alcohol and drug use during pregnancy and postnatal, and infant sleep position.

Hāpai Te Hauora was selected as the national provider to deliver the national SUDI prevention coordination service after an open and contestable tender process. The contract will build on the existing national services Hāpai deliver and establishes the NGO as the largest Māori Public Health provider in Aotearoa.

"In awarding this contract to a Māori organisation the Ministry has sent a powerful signal that kaupapa Māori approaches have an important place alongside other culturally appropriate interventions in supporting improved outcomes in our communities" says Zoe Hawke, the General Manager for the National Tobacco Control Advocacy Service. "It is also a commitment to turning the tide on a preventable and tragic issue which disproportionately affects our Māori whānau. We are uniquely placed to support this mahi given our leadership in tobacco control because smoking is the major preventable risk factor for SUDI”. Smoking cessation and supporting safe sleep will be the two major priorities for the service.

The National SUDI prevention coordination service (SPCS) will support the establishment, development, implementation and monitoring of SUDI prevention programmes delivered through four regional coordination services and all 20 DHBs. Some of the responsibilities will include providing them with tools to: assess whether SUDI prevention services need enhancing or expanding; introduce risk assessments and care planning for pregnant women and post-natally; ensure smoking cessation referral pathways are available; provide safe sleep devices and follow-up support for high-risk families and to develop workforce development plans to build SUDI prevention capabilities across maternal and child health, education, social and community services.

Hapai Te Hauora chief executive Lance Norman says the national SUDI prevention coordination service will work hard to support the sector to reduce inequalities and enhance health outcomes for babies and their whānau, helping to cut the SUDI rates in our communities. “We are determined to help to meet the government’s target to reduce the overall rate of SUDI by 86 per cent and 94 per cent for Maori by 2025, reducing the number of SUDI deaths from 44 to six,” Norman says.


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