Public Health Expert

How to Systematically Reduce the Border Failure Risk for COVID-19 in Aotearoa/NZ

Public Health Expert Oct 28, 2020

Prof Nick Wilson*, Dr Jennifer Summers, Dr Amanda Kvalsvig, Prof Michael Baker With the 2020 election over and with a newly elected government, it is an excellent time for a systematic review by NZ health authorities to identify optimal methods for reducing the risk of future COVID-19 outbreaks in Aotearoa/NZ. The persisting occurrence of cross-border incursions of the pandemic virus … Read More

Covid-19: A planetary disease

Public Health Expert Oct 14, 2020

Louise Delany* This blog focuses on the underlying environmental causes of Covid-19 (Covid) and the role of international law in tackling both Covid and other planetary crises. I argue that major changes to our relationship with our planet and its creatures are needed and these changes must be supported by new international law.   What caused Covid? Covid-19 is a … Read More

Preventing diabetes: What does the latest modelling evidence tell us about health gains and cost savings?

Public Health Expert Oct 07, 2020

Dr Cristina Cleghorn, Dr Leah Grout, Dr Anja Mizdrak, Prof Nick Wilson Approximately 5.5% of NZ adults have been diagnosed with diabetes. In this blog we summarise our recent modelling work that suggests that further investment in interventions of proven effectiveness to prevent type 2 diabetes could substantially benefit health, reduce health inequalities, and save billions in health sector … Read More

Getting the Marketing Mix Right: A Commentary on NZ’s Forthcoming Vaping Regulations

Public Health Expert Oct 01, 2020

Janet Hoek, Lindsay Robertson, Jude Ball, Richard Edwards, Anaru Waa On August 11 2020, the NZ Parliament passed legislation that extends existing regulation of tobacco and herbal smoking products to vaping products (or electronic nicotine delivery systems [ENDS] and heated tobacco products (HTPs]. The new Act represents an important step in managing access to ENDS and HTPs, and regulating how … Read More

The long-term health burden of COVID-19: further justification for NZ’s elimination strategy

Public Health Expert Sep 24, 2020

Prof John D. Potter* This blog briefly surveys the emerging scientific evidence on the longer-term burden of symptoms and disease in survivors of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of these symptoms point to damage in the brain and heart. These long-term harms add to the wide range of other reasons for Aotearoa/New Zealand to persist with its successful COVID-19 elimination strategy. Read More

The smokefree policies of political parties: Do they care about people who smoke?

Public Health Expert Sep 24, 2020

George Thomson*, Nick Wilson, Janet Hoek, Andrew Waa, Richard Edwards In this time of Covid-19, helping people who smoke to quit their addiction has an even greater importance. Smokers are more vulnerable to many harmful health effects, including severe effects from the virus. Policies that support people who smoke to be smokefree would also increase the discretionary income of many … Read More

Shifting all Isolation/Quarantine Facilities to a Single Air Force Base: The Need for a Critical Analysis

Public Health Expert Sep 14, 2020

Prof Nick Wilson*, Prof Michael Baker In this blog the arguments for and against shifting all COVID-19 related isolation/quarantine facilities to a single air force base at Ōhakea are considered. The main advantage would be a reduction in the risk of border control failures, which can potentially involve outbreaks in NZ’s largest cities with large health and economic … Read More

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Is Euthanasia a health priority for New Zealand at present?

Public Health Expert Sep 09, 2020

Dr Ben Gray* This blog discusses what will be needed to operationalise the End of Life Choice Act in the event that it is approved at referendum. It argues that this will take significant resources. Judging by the experience in Oregon it is likely that this may only benefit a small number of older educated white people. The health … Read More

Tax policy as a key health determinant: Reform for the Covid-19 reset

Public Health Expert Sep 07, 2020

Louise Delany,* Assoc Prof George Thomson Tax provides revenue for the collective societal services that are critical for the prevention and management of Covid-19. Tax is the way we all share our resources in contributing to a healthy, decent and just society. Tax reform options should be included in pre-election party proposals. More importantly, we need to continue to talk … Read More

Upgrade of NZ’s COVID-19 Alert Levels Needed to Help Regain NZ’s Elimination Status

Public Health Expert Sep 03, 2020

Prof Nick Wilson, Dr Amanda Kvalsvig, Prof Michael Baker In this blog we comment on the current COVID-19 situation globally and in NZ. We focus on potential revisions to NZ’s Alert Level system that involve improved use of mass masking, targeted internal travel restrictions, and gathering/event limits. These interventions could all help accelerate rapid progress back to elimination status … Read More