Improving the health of young people

01 May 2018

Smiling faces of Resilience Young People Programme participants

 “Good health and well-being are essential for our Pacific children,” says CEO of SouthSeas Healthcare Trust, Silao Vaisola-Sefo.

“Our Pacific communities have been under the microscope for being medically obese and lifestyles and eating habits must dramatically improve.”

This is one of the reasons why SouthSeas Healthcare uses the Resilient Young People Programme to tackle the problem.

The programme is designed around a lifestyle and exercise therapy approach to teach young people about making healthy lifestyle choices.

“It is our approach to provide access to healthcare to our young children in a positive and socially inclusive environment embracing the importance of living and eating healthy,” says Silao.

“The intentions are to increase levels of physical activity and improve nutrition in our youth.”

Ministry of Health figures show that one in five Pacific children and three in five Pacific adults are obese. These rates are higher than the national averages. 

Diabetes disproportionately affects Pacific adults. One in ten Pacific adults have been diagnosed with diabetes. 

“This unique service allows our team to work with our young Pacific people to enable them to understand the needs of healthy eating and living a healthy lifestyle, building a rapport with them, gaining their trust, and collaboratively working on a care plan that is suitable and acceptable,” says Silao.

“We also encourage them to participate in activities designed to proactively curb the rising number of Pacific affected by obesity-related illness. This all stems from early learning, physical inactivity, and poor nutrition.”

“We have to be innovative and shared solutions were needed, with the Resilient Young People Programme being one, facilitating us in educating our young people about wellbeing.”

The programme looks at physical activity, weight monitoring, nutrition, obesity prevention, and developing a family care plan.

It also teaches young people to eat healthily and ensure healthy food and drinks are included in their family care plan.

With the number of Pacific people diagnosed with type-two diabetes on the rise, the most effective way to combat this issue is to educate young people to be active and live healthy.

“We have many young people joining the programme and we have room for more who are willing to join. This programme helps a lot with improving nutrition and increasing physical activity,” says Silao.

The programme is FREE and open to children and young people, aged 5-25 years. For more information click here

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South Seas Healthcare

Physical address: 14 Fair Mall, Auckland 2023
Phone: 09 273 9017

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Phone: 09 274 3414

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