Cleft palate treatment in Auckland: Understanding accessibility

Māori have one of the highest incidences of cleft palate in the world: over twice that of Pākehā. Specialist treatment can help curb some of the effects of this condition – but only if it’s accessible. A 5-year study of 79 children in the Auckland Regional Cleft Palate Service found that the only significant difference in outcome (based on ethnicity) was that whānau Māori were less likely to attend the specialist clinic appointments. The authors suggest possible ways the medical system could improve, such as developing an assessment of cleft speech that uses te reo Māori and proactively developing policies to improve Māori participation and success at all levels.

Journal/conference: NZMJ

Organisation/s: Te Whatu Ora – Health New Zealand, University of Auckland

Media release

From: Pasifika Medical Association Group

Children born in Auckland and Northland with a cleft palate will receive surgery, specialist therapy, dental and psychology services as well as outpatient appointments in a South Auckland hospital. This paper looks at how far people have to travel, what speech therapy is offered and what their speech outcomes are like at 5 years old. Consideration is given to speech outcomes of Maaori in particular, as Maaori have one of the highest incidences of cleft in the world and more Maaori live in rural areas than non-Maaori.

SOURCE

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