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Raising a baby can be a wonderful experience, but at times it can be daunting and overwhelming – even more so when you’re a young mum.
At 18, Zariah Timothy is mum to Mataira Timothy-Gillett, who, at four months old, is thriving on her whānau and young mum’s aroha.
But, regardless of age and whānau support, new mums still need reassurance that their babies are reaching all their milestones and that they have access to the appropriate health services and checks that set the foundation for their lifelong health and wellbeing.
Tamariki Ora Well Child is a Ministry of Health initiative offering a series of health assessments, immunisation education and support services for children and their families from birth to five years. The programme is delivered to 645 children throughout Hauraki rohe by health provider Te Korowai Hauora o Hauraki.
It also includes health promotion activities and is an important gateway for parents to access primary and specialist health care, education and social services.
Tamariki Ora Well Child nurse visits can start at birth or at six weeks, depending on the midwife’s referral.
Registered nurse Krista Harries has been visiting Mataira in her own home since she was six weeks old. While mums can also opt to take their babies to a clinic, Zariah, from Thames, appreciates the convenience of not having to take her baby out of the house when it’s time for her check-ups.
“Keeping baby in her own home keeps her happy and settled during the visits and makes Krista’s visits a little easier,” she says.
Zariah also enjoys the “whānau-based approach” Tamariki Ora Well Child offers.
“When Krista comes, it’s almost like a friend coming to visit baby and me, not just a nurse,” she says.
Te Korowai Hauora o Hauraki Manager of Oranga o te Tangata (Public Health and Health Promotion Services) Debbie Petersen-Pilcher says Tamariki Ora Well Child also works closely with other services to support families where needed.
“It is about whānau ora and ensuring we provide services that wrap around our whānau, support their aspirations toward wellness and build upon our vision for Hauraki to be a healthy nation,” she says.
This week is Te wiki o te Reo Māori - Māori Language Week
Make Te Reo Māori an essential part of New Zealand for you, for us all
FREE CERVICAL SCREENING
Taking 10 minutes out of a woman’s day could save her life. That woman could be your mother, wife, daughter, niece, auntie, nana – or it could be you.
Ten minutes is the time it takes to have a cervical screening (smear) test to detect abnormal cells in a woman’s cervix that could lead to cervical cancer.
This month is cervical Screening Awareness Month and a reminder for all women who have been sexually active to have their cervical smear.
Every year 160 New Zealand women develop cervical cancer, with 50 dying from it. And yet it is one of the most preventable forms of cancer – as long as the cell changes that cause it are detected early.
Cervical cancer refers to the abnormal, uncontrolled growth of cells in the cervix, the lower part of the uterus (womb). It usually develops very slowly, with the first signs showing up as ‘abnormal’ cells, which can then take more than 10 years to develop into cancer.
Te Korowai Hauora o Hauraki Poukura Hauora - Clinical Services Manager - Taima Campbell says women and their whānau should make cervical screening a priority.
“Abnormal cell changes might not show any symptoms until they become cancerous, which is why early detection through screening and follow-up treatment is important,” she says.
“We can’t stress enough how important it is that our wāhine keep up to date with their smear tests because we know that they can save their life.”
Treatment can be as simple as removing the affected tissue.
Many women are embarrassed or whakāma about having a cervical smear test and Taima says the clinic’s female nurses will do everything they can to make sure a woman feels comfortable during the short procedure.
Without screening, about 1 in 90 women will develop cervical cancer, with 1 out of 200 dying from it, whereas with screening, 1 out of 570 women will develop cervical cancer, with 1 out of 1280 dying from it.
Three-yearly cervical smear tests are recommended for all women aged 20 to 70 who have ever been sexually active.
Te Korowai Hauora o Hauraki offers free cervical screening to all its enrolled clients. Please phone our Whānau Health Centres - Thames: 07 868 0033, Te Aroha: 07 884 9208, Paeroa: 07 862 9284, Coromandel: 07 866 8084 or FREEPHONE 0508 tekorowai; 0508 835 676
For more information, contact
Communications & Marketing
Phone: 021 027 48490
At the age of 15, Martin Mikaere was reading at the level of a 10-year-old. Because he struggled with reading, he openly avoided it and played up in class to avoid the work.
That could have been his future – but today, Martin Mikaere, affectionately dubbed “Doc Martin” is a much-loved GP at Te Korowai Hauora o Hauraki Paeroa’s Whānau Health Centre, and proof that no matter what obstacles a person may face, if they are passionate enough, they can still follow their dreams to reach their goals.
Doc Martin was this month awarded the Royal New Zealand College of Practitioners Peter Anyon Memorial, in memory of Dr Peter Anyon, for his contribution to the vocational education of general practitioners.
His struggle with reading was eventually diagnosed as dyslexia. Lucky to have the support of his parents, he was referred to a private tutor, but he says his real breakthrough came when he was introduced to fantasy writing with a book called “The Pawn of Prophecy” by David Eddings.
“My mum sorted it for me by getting me this book and encouraging me to read it,” he says.
“I stayed with the book and finished all 300 pages over the next two to three months.”
Captivated, he went on to read the whole series, which he says got his reading speed up but did not help his spelling.
“To date I’m still a horrible speller and my use of punctuation is terrible. I rely on my wife for these things these days.”
Dr Mikaere’s struggles didn’t end there though. While he loved his books, he says he and his twin brother, Sam, who also had dyslexia, were disruptive and ended up attending three different high schools.
“Let’s just say that by the end of our schooling no one really expected much from either one of us. We were outspoken and disruptive in the classroom – classic class clowns -- and we both struggled with our dyslexia.”
He failed School Certificate maths two years in a row scoring 28% the first-time round and then 26% the next year.
“So with a whole year of extra study I somehow managed to do worse,” he says.
He went into nursing training straight after high school, a pathway he chose because his mum was a nurse and he thought it would be a good job to travel with.
“I liked people and thought it might be a good match for me.”
But he failed dismally, admitting that he was really there to play rugby and party.
“I failed all but one paper in the first semester and I got halfway through the second semester and thought, ‘this is not for me’. That again was like my reading. I was struggling with it. So I guess I walked away.“
But, he says, this left him with a nagging sensation of failure.
“I had never openly failed so bad before. I was embarrassed and wanted to just hide from the world.
“But I could not let it go. It really bothered me that I had that scratch against my name.”
So, after working in jobs he says he hated, he worked up the courage to give nursing another go.
“They were very weary of me at first, but I got into foundation studies for nursing, finished that and then went on to finish the nursing degree.”
From there, he flourished, working in Emergency Departments in New Zealand, Australia and America before returning to NZ to start medicine, eventually working 80-100 hour working weeks in his orthopaedic role at Whangarei Hospital.
Dr Mikaere’s career took a new turn when he took some rare time off from his job to take his two tamariki to the beach. He had so much fun with them, he realised what he was missing out on, and that night, told his wife Anna that he was going to become a GP.
“There’s no way I was going to live my life like this anymore,” he says.
Now in the third year of a General Practice Education Programme (GPEP), Dr Mikaere is thoroughly enjoying work at the Te Korowai practice in Paeroa, which has about 1700 patients, 70% of whom are Māori.
He says he was humbled to receive the award.
“I had no idea that I had even been put forward for this. It was a real shock but I have to say it is pretty cool to be recognised like this.”
In closing his acceptance speech, Dr Mikaere called on a whakatauki that he lives by:
“Whāia te iti kahurangi ki te tūohu koe me he maunga teitei
“Seek the treasure you value most dearly: if you bow your head, let it be to a lofty mountain”
He says he has found in his life that people (rightly or wrongly) will give their opinion on what they think you should do.
“But my finding here is that it is the best approximation that they have of themselves and as such is limited. They won’t advise anything that they themselves could not do as it’s outside either their knowledge box or their estimation of your abilities.”
His advice to young people is that if they want to be builder, a nurse a doctor or an astronaut - then go and do it.
“Nothing is easy in life but it is all achievable if you want it. Certain things are easier if you have natural talent, but I had no talent for academia and still finished an academic-heavy programme.
“So to the young people I say dream big and if it fails. Get back up and go again.”
“This whakatauki is my life motto. Better to try and fail because even in that failure you will find clarity and direction. But never if you don’t try.”
For more information, contact:
Communications and Marketing
Ph: 021 027 48490