Infectious disease rates on the rise.
|Subject:||Communicable diseases (Statistics)|
|Publication:||Name: Kai Tiaki: Nursing New Zealand Publisher: New Zealand Nurses' Organisation Audience: Trade Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Health; Health care industry Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2012 New Zealand Nurses' Organisation ISSN: 1173-2032|
|Issue:||Date: March, 2012 Source Volume: 18 Source Issue: 2|
|Topic:||Event Code: 680 Labor Distribution by Employer|
|Geographic:||Geographic Scope: New Zealand Geographic Code: 8NEWZ New Zealand|
A study by the University of Otago, Wellington, shows
hospitalisations from infectious diseases have increased by 51 per cent
from 1989 to 2008. The patients were mainly aged under five or more than
70 and from lower socio-economic areas. Some were suffering from third
world infections, with the most common diseases being skin abscesses,
cellulitis, pneumonia and infectious diarrhoea.
Maori and Pacific peoples were twice as likely to be hospitalised as Europeans. Those in deprived neighbourhoods were almost three times at risk, compared with those living in the most affluent areas.
Lead investigator associate professor Michael Baker labelled the results embarrassing for the country. "New Zealand now has the double burden of rising rates of both infectious and chronic diseases. The increased rates are adding 17,000 hospitalisations a year and tens of millions of dollars in avoidable health care costs."
Overcrowding, lower rates of immunisation and poor access at an early age to primary care were factors behind the increases. "Rheumatic fever, for example, is a disease we shouldn't see at all in New Zealand. It's been increasing, almost exclusively in Maori and Pacific population," Baker said.
Nine authors worked on the project for two years, collating data from the hospitalisation records of district health boards around the country. The study was published in the international medical journal the Lancet last month.
NZNO associate professional services manager Hilary Graham-Smith has described the research as "a clarion call to all in the health sector". She said if more nurses were able to work in far more varied ways to provide a whole range of services to high-need communities, that would help turn the statistics around.
"Solutions to these problems must be long term but properly resourced primary nursing care, delivered in all sorts of ways to high-need communities --taking services to the people rather than expecting them to come to the services--would be an immediate and effective response to what this research is telling us," Graham-Smith said.
|Gale Copyright:||Copyright 2012 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.|