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Dr Rawiri Taonui | Covid-19 Update for Māori 05 April 2020 | Prescriptions, Vulnerable Groups & Gender ratios
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Covid-19 Update for Māori April 5 2020 | Prescriptions, Vulnerable Groups & Gender ratios
Dr Rawiri Taonui

 

Total Cases & Māori

New Zealand has 89 new cases today and 1039 cases in total: a consecutive rise of 9.4% over the last two days. Māori cases increased by 11 to a total of 79. This is a 16.2% rise, the highest since 22% on April 2. Māori are 7.6% of all cases, a rise of around 0.5% over the last three days and up 3.5% from March 29. We remain lower than our 16.5% demographic. There is a shortage of data on Māori and Pacific Peoples. Information for vulnerable groups must include Māori and Pacific Peoples, including an age advisory of 55 years old (currently at risk is 70yrs+), particularly where there are pre-existing heart, respiratory, diabetes, liver, kidney and/or obesity conditions. I have requested information on Māori and Pacific Peoples re: all testing and positive tests by DHB.

 

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Prescriptions for Vulnerable Groups

When we went to Covid19 Level 4, Pharmac required chemists to divide standard 3-month prescriptions into 1-month repeats. For the aged and/or Māori and Pacific Peoples and those with pre-existing conditions this creates risk where they make three trips instead of one to pick-up medicines. Chemists and pharmacies have the discretion to issue three month prescriptions as follows:

Pharmac Rule 4.4.2

Pharmacists remain able to make exceptions to dispense up to three-months supply for people who: have mobility issues, live rurally, are immunocompromised and/or are elderly.

(see https://www.pharmac.govt.nz/information-for/covid-19-pharmacs-response/change-to-monthly-dispensing)

Chemists are currently under some demand and many are overlooking or unaware of this option. If you have any whānau or aiga in any of these categories, ask your doctor to ensure that they email the pharmacy in advance or supply a note attached to the prescription indicating which of the criteria applies to your relative. The Pharmacy may also miss the key part of the email so make sure your doctor cites it at the beginning.

Gender

We know from Ministry of Health releases that more women (53%) than men (47%) have tested positive for Covid-19. This does not tell the full story. More men than women over 30 years of age have tested positive, and, more females than males have tested positive under the age of 30. This possibly tells us two things. By simple number and age more men of older age are at risk of a severe illness. Conversely, the lower number of men aged under 30 possibly indicates that more women have been involved in travel and/or that younger men are being less proactive about getting tested. If you think you or any of your whānau or aiga have symptoms call your doctor or Healthline on 0800 358 5453.

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  Noho haumaru, stay safe and stay self-sovereign, Dr Rawiri Taonui

 

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