Dr Matire Harwood – University of Auckland

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24 October 2017


Improving the health for indigenous communities

Inequities are the next big health issue, and recently Australia and New Zealand were highlighted as having significant inequities in health-related outcomes between indigenous and non-indigenous communities. Indigenous health and well-being is an international priority, with long-term conditions existing as the biggest contributor to life expectancy gaps worldwide. Achieving equity within health and well-being will have a positive impact on the lives of patients, as well as for the community, the nation, and the world over.

Dr Matire Harwood plans to review the effects of indigenous-led interventions for long-term conditions including cardiovascular disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, respiratory conditions, obesity and smoking. The project proposes to weave together past projects and current activities to improve the well-being of indigenous people, and her research suggests that indigenous-led interventions contribute to better outcomes for both indigenous people and the nation.

Working with large collaborative teams, Matire develops novel approaches to the health of indigenous communities. This includes the implementation of individualised programs for those suffering long-term health conditions, where indigenous people develop a health care approach that works best for them. Matire also works closely with drug development researchers, to develop different methods of medication and drug delivery, specific for indigenous communities. These novel approaches to health are key solutions to a very important problem, in which Matire is leading the way and transforming people’s lives.

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