Public Health Expert

Making the Most of Masks

Public Health Expert Sep 17, 2021

Dr Nitasha Rimar, Dr Lucy Telfar Barnard, Dr Amanda Kvalsvig, Lesley Gray, Prof Michael Baker  Masks and vaccination have a central role in minimising the health and economic impact of COVID-19, regardless of the long-term strategy we use against the pandemic. These interventions depend on both good performance and high population coverage.  Here we update evidence on mask effectiveness and … Read More

Lessons learned from a remote blood pressure lowering trial in Aotearoa

Public Health Expert Sep 16, 2021

Helen Eyles, Jacqui Grey, Elaine Umali, Cliona Ni Mhurchu Technologies such as smartphone apps, Wi-Fi-enabled data collection devices, and web-based data management systems offer the opportunity to deliver and assess the impact of clinical trials remotely, something which researchers are becoming increasingly drawn to.  However, there are drawbacks, and even experienced teams will encounter challenges.  In this blog we share … Read More

Intensifying Covid-19 Control Measures: 5 Measures for Faster Elimination and 5 Measures to Prevent Future outbreaks

Public Health Expert Sep 16, 2021

Prof Nick Wilson, Dr Julie Bennett, Dr Leah Grout, Dr Jin Russell, Dr Jennifer Summers, Prof Michael Baker   Despite some good progress, the persisting Covid-19 outbreak in Auckland still poses risks to health, social wellbeing and the economy. There is a need for accelerated efforts to ensure more rapid elimination of community transmission. In this blog we look at … Read More

Improving ventilation in schools: a key protection against Covid-19 outbreaks and an enduring legacy for healthier learning

Public Health Expert Sep 10, 2021

Dr Amanda Kvalsvig, Dr Julie Bennett, Dr Jin Russell, Dr Jennifer Summers, Dr Leah Grout, Prof Michael Baker, and Prof Nick Wilson* As much of the country moves down Alert Levels, children are returning to in-person learning with little or no protection against the potential spread of Covid-19 infection in schools. It is therefore critical that ventilation is improved in … Read More

A Smokefree Aotearoa – could taking the nicotine out of smoked tobacco products help us get there?

Public Health Expert Sep 06, 2021

Nick Wilson, Janet Hoek, Nhung Nghiem, Jennifer Summers, Leah Grout, Richard Edwards* This blog presents key findings from a modelling study where we estimated the impact that denicotinising smoked tobacco products could have on smoking prevalence in Aotearoa New Zealand. A policy requiring that all smoked tobacco products are virtually nicotine free is one of the key proposals included in … Read More

An Upgraded Alert Level 2 is Urgently Needed to Address the Delta Variant Threat

Public Health Expert Sep 03, 2021

Dr Leah Grout, Prof Nick Wilson, Dr Jennifer Summers, Dr Amanda Kvalsvig, Prof Michael Baker* Aotearoa New Zealand (NZ’s) Covid-19 Alert Level system worked well in early 2020, but the Covid-19 landscape has changed, and the system must be updated to address the threat of the highly transmissible Delta variant and future variants. The country is using lockdowns (Auckland currently at … Read More

Public health response to report on potential risk of nitrate from drinking water

Public Health Expert Sep 03, 2021

Dr Tim Chambers and Professor Simon Hales This week a report, co-funded by Fonterra and MBIE, investigated the relative contributions of nitrate in our diet from water and food. The report comes in response to emerging epidemiological evidence observing nitrate in drinking water as a risk factor for colorectal cancer. In separate public statements, the authors … Read More

The end game should not be just Smokefree 2025 but also Vapefree

Public Health Expert Sep 02, 2021

Jenni Stephenson* Aotearoa New Zealand has been a world leader in the smokefree arena and is doubling down on its efforts to reach the 2025 goal. This blog asks if is enough to aim just for smokefree or whether Te Tiriti o Waitangi demands we aim higher and eliminate vaping also. Under the Te Tiriti o Waitangi the Government is … Read More

Lessons from jurisdictions that are battling their own Delta variant outbreaks

Public Health Expert Aug 31, 2021

Dr Jennifer Summers, Prof Nick Wilson, Dr Leah Grout, Dr Amanda Kvalsvig, Prof Michael Baker * The first Delta-variant outbreak in the community brings a new challenge to Aotearoa New Zealand’s COVID-19 response. A Delta outbreak was in some respects a likely scenario given the high infectiousness of this variant and the emerging evidence that vaccines may be less effective … Read More

Throwing Open the Windows: The Need for Ventilation Improvements as Part of Covid-19 Outbreak Control in Aotearoa

Public Health Expert Aug 30, 2021

Dr Leah Grout, Prof Nick Wilson, Dr Julie Bennett, Dr Jennifer Summers, Dr Amanda Kvalsvig, Prof Michael Baker * The importance of indoor aerosol transmission of the virus that causes COVID-19 is increasingly recognised. In addition to public health measures such as masking and physical distancing, further protections are needed to prevent the spread of the virus. Interventions to improve … Read More