NZCPHM Media Release: It Takes a Child to Raise a Country Monday, 16 June 2014

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MEDIA STATEMENT

16 June 2014

The New Zealand College of Public Health Medicine endorses the Tick for Kids campaign "It takes a child to raise a country", that is being launched tomorrow, aimed at raising awareness of children's health and wellbeing. The NZCPHM considers healthy children to be a fundamental prerequisite for a healthy and prosperous New Zealand.

New Zealand's current investment in children is insufficient to reduce the impact of poverty on their health and wellbeing, says the NZCPHM. New Zealand spends less than half of the OECD average on children aged up to five.

The NZCPHM says the impact that poverty has on child health is reflected in the high rates of certain health conditions in NZ, compared to other developed countries.

"NZ has one of the highest rates of Sudden Unexpected Death in Infancy in the industrialised world, it has the 4th highest rate of deaths from injury among 1-4 year olds in the OECD, 14 times the average OECD rate of rheumatic fever, 5 to 10 times more whooping cough and pneumonia than in the US and UK, and a 4 to 6 times higher rate of child maltreatment death than OECD countries with the lowest incidence".

The NZCPHM also wants to see nutritious meals provided at low decile schools and continued improvements in the quality of, and participation in, Early Childhood Education.

The NZCPHM believes the best way forward is the development and implementation of a national, cross-sector strategy to address child poverty including poverty measures and reduction targets.

ENDS

For more information contact Jane Dancer, NZCPHM General Manager:  021 800 418

Download the media release here.