Stewart Island families now have access to the Well Child Tamariki Ora programme thanks to a recently established clinic. The clinic, run by Awarua Whanau Services on behalf of Southern DHB, started in December 2017 and currently has 14 children on its books ranging in age from three months to three years. Previously, the Stewart Island nurses did an excellent job of providing health care to pre-schoolers, but this didn’t cover Well Child Tamariki Ora services.
Awarua Whanau Services registered nurse Cara Morton runs a clinic every six to eight weeks and is delighted with its success. “Being able to offer this programme on the Island means we’ve removed barriers in accessing the service, which were bigger than most due to living on an island.“It’s great to see this happening and how the clinic has been embraced by the Island’s families,” says Cara.
Stewart Island resident and mum, Karin Lewis, says having a Well Child Tamariki Ora clinic on Stewart Island for children and families has been great. “At times, living on an island can feel isolating for new parents and it has been invaluable to have the opportunity for full screenings and education services for whānau and their children.
“Parents appreciate the thorough check ups and being able to talk openly with someone who is well educated in child health and development. We feel thankful that our tamariki will have the same strong foundations and continuity of care as those living on the mainland.”
South Island Well Child Tamariki Ora Quality Improvement project manager Anna Foaese says the new clinic is great news for families living on Stewart Island; and the programme as a whole. “It truly reflects our aim of providing greater accessibility, coverage and equity across the South Island, as we work towards providing better outcomes for our children – no matter where they live in New Zealand.”