Government targets sudden infant deaths

Stuff reports:

By reducing smoking rates and bed-sharing with newborn babies, the Government says it can drastically reduce the number of sudden infant deaths in less than a decade. 

Health Minister Jonathan Coleman has announced a new goal to reduce the number of babies who die each year due to Sudden Unexpected Death in Infancy (SUDI), by 86 per cent within eight years. 

By reducing the overall rate of SUDI by 86 per cent and 94 per cent for Maori by 2025, the number of SUDI deaths would be reduced from 44 to six.

 The SUDI rate is about 0.7 in every 1,000 babies born, and 1.59 for every 1,000 Maori babies born. The goal was to get that rate down to 0.1 in every 1000 births by 2025. …

From September, the Government would be providing safe sleep devices – known as Pepi Pods or Wahakura – to families identified as needing them during the baby’s first year of life.

“As some DHBs already have a similar scheme in place, the new programme will now be nationally coordinated. We expect every family who needs this form of assistance will be identified and supported to keep their baby safe during sleep,” he said. 

“More needs to be done to address our SUDI rate, and by adopting this evidence based approach it’s hoped that real and meaningful change can be achieved.”

A very worthwhile target. And unlike the previous Government which had scores of health goals and targets (none of which were met), this Government has shown that a smaller number of well defined targets around ED waiting times, cancer waiting times etc can be met.

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