Public Health Expert

Hearing loss and social isolation – the silent burden

Public Health Expert Jul 26, 2021

Feature image: this picture was chosen as it illustrates two elderly people in each other’s company. Tying in with the theme of hearing loss and social isolation, this depicts the importance of connection to each other and the world in which we live. Charlotte Gordon* Untreated hearing loss is a large direct cause of disability and is associated with increased … Read More

The alarms are flashing red: Five reasons to upgrade our Alert Level system before the next Covid-positive traveller visits a major city

Public Health Expert Jul 14, 2021

Amanda Kvalsvig, Nick Wilson, Cheryl Davies, Carmen Timu-Parata, Virginia Signal, Michael G. Baker Aotearoa New Zealand (NZ’s) Alert Level system worked well in 2020, but the Covid-19 landscape is changing and the system needs to change with it to keep NZ ahead of the pandemic.  In this blog we summarise our just-published recommendations for strengthening the Alert Level system and … Read More

What’s the right Covid-19 risk to live with – an Australian perspective

Public Health Expert Jul 14, 2021

Blog syndicated with permission from “The Pursuit” at Melbourne University, Australia By Professor Tony Blakely, Dr Tim Wilson and Associate Professor Vijaya Sundararajan, University of Melbourne As Australia looks toward opening its international borders, new virus modelling provides scenarios that can help us decide what’s the right risk to tolerate. As Australia inches up its vaccine rollout, … Read More

The changing COVID-19 situation in Taiwan – what can NZ learn from Taiwan’s latest outbreak?

Public Health Expert Jul 13, 2021

Jennifer Summers, Leah Grout, Michael Baker, Amanda Kvalsvig, Nick Wilson* (author details*) We previously published an assessment of Taiwan’s extremely effective response to COVID-19 during 2020. However, a recent surge of community cases in northern Taiwan from April 2021 onwards has resulted in an increasing mortality rate, with large scale restrictions imposed to bring the outbreak under control.  This COVID-19 … Read More

“Nudging” to improve QR scanning and mask wearing to protect us all during a pandemic

Public Health Expert Jul 12, 2021

Janet Hoek, Philip Gendall, Nick Wilson (author details*) A feature of Aotearoa New Zealand’s COVID-19 elimination strategy is the rapid identification and then management of any COVID-19 cases arising from border system failures. Within the community, high QR code scanning rates enable rapid identification of contacts while wearing masks in indoor public settings, such as on public transport, reduces the … Read More

The Smokefree 2025 Action Plan: key findings from the ITC New Zealand (EASE) project

Public Health Expert Jul 05, 2021

Richard Edwards, Ellie Johnson, Janet Hoek, Anaru Waa, El-Shadan Tautolo, Jude Ball, James Stanley Summary This blog summarises findings from people who smoke or have recently quit smoking and who participated in the ITC New Zealand project from 2016-2021. The blog documents attitudes towards smoking and quitting, support for, and perceived impacts of, key measures included in the Smokefree … Read More

Urgently upgrading NZ’s Covid-19 response

Public Health Expert Jun 24, 2021

Amanda Kvalsvig, Nick Wilson, and Michael Baker Aotearoa NZ’s effective Covid-19 elimination strategy is now threatened by the global emergence of new variants with increasingly high transmissibility. We outline the upgrades that are now urgently needed to keep New Zealanders safe, particularly in the light of the current outbreak risk in Wellington. Immediate actions include upgrading the Alert Level system … Read More

Health co-benefits need to be adequately considered in the Climate Change Commission’s final advice

Public Health Expert Jun 21, 2021

Tim Chambers, Simon Hales, Jude Ball, Michael Baker, Cristina Cleghorn, Nick Wilson (*Author details) The Climate Change Commission’s final advice to the Government has been tabled in Parliament. This final report further acknowledged the potential health co-benefits of climate action presented in the Commission’s draft advice. However, the Commission has excluded these health co-benefits from its economic analyses, which currently … Read More

Update on Long-COVID

Public Health Expert Jun 15, 2021

Prof John D. Potter* This blog post updates an earlier post on Long-COVID and reports that estimates of prevalence are still wide at about 15 to 65% of those initially infected with the pandemic virus, SARS-CoV-2. As things stand now across the world, we do not yet have systems in place to diagnose and manage the massive burden of … Read More

A Smokefree Aotearoa Action Plan: Why this could eliminate smoking disparities for Māori

Public Health Expert May 28, 2021

Andrew Waa, Heather Gifford, Shane Bradbrook The recent release of the Government’s “Proposals for a Smokefree Aotearoa 2025 Action Plan” (the  Plan) represents a significant step forward in how we think about tobacco control1. The Plan specifically references eliminating smoking related inequities, strengthening Māori governance and fulfilling government commitments to Te Tiriti o Waitangi as an essential part of achieving … Read More