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The PHA – an informed, collaborative and strong advocate for public health.

 

Making sure the early years get recognition

The World Health Organization (WHO) is very clear. Inequities in health are an issue of social justice and a major public health concern. The WHO established the Commission on Social Determinants of Health to generate action to promote health equity. Their final report Closing the gap in a generation (CSDH 2008) contains three interrelated recommendations for civil society, governments and global institutions:

  1. Improve daily living conditions
  2. Tackle the inequitable distribution of power, money, and resources
  3. Measure and understand the problem and assess the impact of action.

The Closing the gap in a generation report recognises the importance of the early years as a key intervention point in improving health and reducing inequalities. Hence, one key area for action is “equity from the start.”

More recently, the New Zealand Public Health Advisory Committee’s report, The Best Start in Life: Achieving effective action on child health and wellbeing (PHAC 2010), is also concerned with achieving equity from the start – both reports are mutually reinforcing catalysts for action.

For some time, New Zealand has been grappling with high levels of childhood hardship, preventable disease, and marked inequalities. Taking action for equity from the start in Aotearoa New Zealand, a paper by Amanda D'Souza, aims to provide the health sector with background information to support action within New Zealand on achieving “equity from the start.”

Also of interest: Some extracts from Closing the Gap in a Generation.

Your comments and feedback are welcome. We would also welcome your contact if you are interested in assisting the PHA to undertake further action in this area.

Email submissions@pha.org.nz.

Why children matter

Children matter because:

  • they are human and deserve full human rights, and additional protection because of their vulnerability
  • improving the wellbeing of all children is crucial to reducing inequities
  • children are our future.

Rights for children

Improve the wellbeing of all children to reduce health inequities

The Closing the gap in a generation report recognises the importance of the early years as a key intervention point in improving health and reducing inequalities. Hence, one key area for action is "equity from the start."

The importance of early childhood

  • Rapid brain development
  • Genetic-environment interactions
  • Effective, cost effective interventions.

What matters for children

The New Zealand Public Health Advisory Committee’s report, The Best Start in Life: Achieving effective action on child health and wellbeing (PHAC 2010), is concerned with achieving equity from the start.

On 18 March 2011 The Children’s Commissioner, John Angus, made a presentation to the Health Promotion and Policy Research Unit, Otago University: Seen but not heard: children’s interests, children’s health and public policy.

Gay Keating presented her assessment of the likely impacts on child health of the recommendations of the Welfare Working Group to an Otago University public health seminar.

The use of commercial child care for children under two has grown rapidly in recent years. In Through their lens, the Children’s’ Commissioner reports on commercial education and care of infants and toddlers. This report provides the first examination of the quality of that care and alternatives for parents who want to look after their children at home. The inquiry provides a examination of care for the under-twos and, most importantly, does so from the perspective of the child.

How are NZ children doing?

Action to make sure the early years get recognition

For some time, New Zealand has been grappling with high levels of childhood hardship, preventable disease, and marked inequalities. Taking action for equity from the start in Aotearoa New Zealand, a paper by Amanda D'Souza, aims to provide the health sector with background information to support action within New Zealand on achieving "equity from the start."

Child health professionals leading action on Achieving Equity from the Start in Aotearoa New Zealand, a poster presentation to the Paediatric Society Conference, November 2010, by Drs Amanda D'Souza and Gay Keating.

Your comments and feedback are welcome. We would also welcome your contact if you are interested in assisting the PHA to undertake further action in this area. Email submissions@pha.org.nz.

Links

Events

When

What

Where

More info

18 April 2011

Making a positive difference early on: A national symposium on early intervention in the life course

8:45am
Wellington: Massey University School of Public Health

Contact and RSVP
A/ Prof David Craig
National Centre for Life course Research
da.craig@auckland.ac.nz

7 May 2011

Responding to UNCRC: the work ahead

United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child has now published its CONCLUDING OBSERVATIONS and RECOMMENDATIONS for NZ Government action. In this workshop ACYA will report on the UNCRC process and together we will draw up plans for follow up, monitoring and the priorities for advocacy.

9.30am - 4.30pm
St Barnabas Church, Mt Eden Auckland
 

Registration essential —by email please to
judith.mcm@xtra.co.nz 
(subject-line: ACYA workshop)
by Friday 29 April


 

20 May 2011

Child Poverty Action Group annual Post Budget Breakfast

 

7.30 am
School of Population Health
Tamaki Campus Auckland University

 
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