Health Minister Jonathan Coleman today launched a new national Sudden Unexpected Death in Infancy (SUDI) prevention programme.
“This Government believes in supporting women and families to have healthy babies who grow up to be healthy kids,” says Dr Coleman.
“Our current SUDI rate is approximately 0.7 in every 1,000 babies born, and 1.59 for every 1,000 Maori babies born. We are working to reduce this rate to 0.1 in every 1,000 births by 2025.
“This new national programme will help to reduce the overall rate of SUDI by 86 per cent overall, and by 94 per cent for Maori, by 2025. This would reduce the number of SUDI deaths from 44 to six.
“Hâpai Te Hauora has been selected as the provider to deliver the new national SUDI prevention coordination service.
“They will provide national coordination of SUDI prevention services to strengthen regional and local responsiveness to families whose new baby is identified as being at higher risk of SUDI.
“The national prevention programme will target two of the biggest preventable risks for SUDI, which are being exposed to tobacco smoke during pregnancy and having the baby sharing a bed.
“It will better utilise innovative approaches to reduce smoking, including smoking cessation incentive programmes. From September we will be providing safe sleep devices such as wahakura or pepipods to families identified as needing them during the baby’s first year of life.
“A range of other evidence-based risk and protective factors will also be incorporated into the national prevention programme. These include encouraging immunisation, breastfeeding, and sleeping baby on their back.
"This strengthened national prevention programme will help to protect the 60,000 babies born each year in New Zealand to ensure they have the best chance for a healthy and long future.
“To support this new approach we’re investing an extra $2 million into the Programme, taking its annual budget to $5.1 million.”
This programme is being supported by the $888 million being invested into Vote Health this year, taking its total budget to a record $16.8 billion.