A good life for all Pacific children

30 September 2019

Dr Teuila Percival with SouthSeas Healthcare CEO Lemalu Silao Vaisola-Sefo.

Dr Teuila Percival, Chair of SouthSeas Healthcare and the first Samoan paediatrician in New Zealand recently joined other health practitioners from the Pacific region at the 23rd annual Pasifika Medical Association Conference 2019 'The Rising Tide' hosted at the Scenic Matavai Resort in Niue.

The conference covered a wide range of health topics ranging from the effects of climate change to new approaches to health workforce development, mental health and non-communicable diseases.

Dr Percival spoke about the ‘big picture’ approach of bringing clinicians and health providers together to paint a true picture of child health in New Zealand and the Pacific region. Her work has taken her beyond the clinic and into the community, especially the South Auckland community, and across the Pacific to address the root causes of preventable illness in children.

Dr Percival is a believer of finding solutions to problems affecting children looking at issues outside health, such as education and social development and that is where she believes research is important. Her work has helped address child obesity and healthy eating in communities facing high rates of health disparities.

Dr Percival’s extensive research expertise in the Pacific health field, and especially in child health is well used in New Zealand and in regions in the Pacific and Australasia. She has an immense passion for her work, especially for babies and young children and she has never stopped researching the drivers of poor health by examining the existing system.

Dr Percival has worked with Māori and Pacific children for nearly 30 years.

In 2006 Dr Percival’s work was recognised with a Pasifika Medical Association Service award and in 2010 she became a companion of the Queen’s Service Order at the Queen’s Birthday Honours ceremony, being recognised for her services to the Pacific Community.

Participants at the Pasifika Medical Association conference spoke positively about collaboration and being able to share knowledge and ideas working across a range of specialties and developing and sustaining collegial support.

The conference helps to cement the connection between the New Zealand Pacific medical community and the Pacific region. It provides a forum for Pacific health professionals to discuss NZ and Pacific regional issues that influence the health and wellbeing of Pacific families and communities.

To sign up and become a member of the Pasifika Medical Association click here

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