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16 December 2019

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Current News

Doctor fears virus keeping people away

2 April 2020

By Alison Mau

Stuff - March 31

A rural GP fears people with serious medical conditions are staying away from their doctor because of coronavirus.

Dr Martin Mikaere, who works at Te Korowai clinic in Thames, says his clinic treats about 15 heart attacks a month in normal circumstances and a similar number of strokes and complications from diabetes.

However, he's concerned those people are now staying away, either from fear of coronavirus, or because they don't want to be a burden.

"Covid-19 is a problem, however the stuff we see is not going to dry up and go away. I really want people to know their GP is here, the service is the same, it just looks a little bit different," he said.

In Auckland, Waitematā District Health Board general manager of primary care Matt Hannant said it was important people still reached out to their GP for any non-coronavirus health concerns.

They should also go to the emergency department when they needed to, he said.

"Over recent days, we have seen a pattern of people presenting to EDs at a very late stage when they are seriously ill. The message we want people to hear is that it is still okay to access the hospital ED before health concerns become critical."

Mikaere is entering his fourth straight week of work without a break. His clinic has the only Covid-19 testing station on the Coromandel Peninsula and has tested about 70 people, with 10 recording positive results.

One person had been hospitalised but had since recovered, he said.

He said the nationwide lockdown had been difficult for his mostly-Māori community, especially for grieving families as most marae had closed and tangihanga were not an option for most.

New regulations for tangihanga restrict mourners to those in the deceased person's "bubble". They are permitted to attend funeral directors' premises, but if their loved one died away from home, they would have to be buried in the area they died or cremated for burial closer to home later.

"It sounds pretty heartbreaking. A lot of the time now, [people] are being buried by relative strangers," Mikaere said.

"People are saying, maybe keep your loved one at home for a couple of days. Once you send them on the embalmers, you probably can't see them again."

He said people opting to do this would need to make sure police were contacted.

Mental health was also a major concern in the lockdown, Mikaere said.

Patients with serious depression usually came to see him because "someone they're close to has identified there's a problem".

However, that was less likely to happen now because people were in close contact with fewer friends and family members, he said.

"We're encouraging people to use that 1737 national helpline number, and for people to check in on each other. Do phone a friend and do have a Zoom chat or FaceTime.

"That's how I'm doing a lot of my consultations and it's really lovely to see people's faces. It helps build the reserves that you need to get through."

See article here DR MIKAERE - STUFF


Tangihanga and Funeral guidelines

31 March 2020

COVID-19 – _Kua rāhui te motu 

Ministry of Health

Tangihanga – a need to adapt our practises during this extraordinary time. 

Bereaved families and whānau from all cultures and backgrounds will find this challenging. This makes it even more important that we show each other kindness and caring, manaakitanga and aroha.

Already iwi and hapū have been adapting tikanga and kawa to keep our people safe. This has also been extended to tangihanga.

There are now strict rules put in place during Alert Level 4 for when loved ones have passed away. These rules apply to everyone, every culture, every religion.

We support the advice and guidelines shared by Te Ropū Whakakaupapa Urutā (The National Māori Pandemic Group) on tikanga, hui and tangihanga for Alert Level 4.

This means: 

  • No public funeral services whatsoever
  • No tangihanga at our marae, funeral homes, churches and other venues
  • No private whānau tangihanga at home.

For more information, please follow this link 

Tangihanga guidelines






Health foods to boost immune system

30 March 2020

By Claire Canon – Dietitian 

The world has changed and everyone I talk to is worried about getting COVID-19, I can also see the ramp up of home remedies appearing on Facebook. 

Lets be clear everyone, garlic probably wont ward off COVID-19 like it does vampires. Washing your hands, staying away if you are sick and calling Healthline if you are worried are your first steps. In saying that, what you eat does influence your immune system and it seems prudent to have a strong one over the next while. 

Vitamin C: This helps support immunity and is present in all of your brightly coloured fruit and veggies- apples, pears, berries, greens, pumpkin, kumara, citrus, tomatoes, kiwifruit etc. Herbs are also a great source like parsley, thyme and mint. Raw is best for vitamin C, but cooked is OK too. 

Zinc: Helpful for preventing colds - this is found in red meat, shellfish, eggs, lentils, beans, chickpeas. 

Fermented foods: These keep your immune system up to date with whats going on in the world of microbes so have a bit more yoghurt, sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha or kefir if you can still get it.

Ginger, turmeric and garlic:  Your partner might not love you if you eat raw garlic but your immune system will. Along with ginger, garlic is very anti-microbial and immune-boosting. Go easy on the raw garlic though as it does burn a bit, maybe mix it into a dressing and make your own ginger tea by putting slices of ginger root into hot water. Turmeric is an anti-inflammatory spice regularly used in Indian cooking

Manuka honey: Manuka honey is great for sore throats and is antimicrobial. 

So dont worry about stocking up on toilet paper next time you hit the supermarket, grab some fruit and veggies instead, fresh or frozen its all good! Be well out there. 


COVID-19 Update March 27

27 March 2020

News Archive