AUT talks immunisation during Samoan Language Week

By Hyunsook Siutaia 30 May 2020, 3:00PM

In celebration of the Samoan Language Week in New Zealand, "Pacific at Auckland University of Technology (A.U.T.)" has acknowledged the celebration by highlighting the importance of immunisation for Pacific communities.

Walter Fraser, AUT Assistant Vice-Chancellor South Campus and Pacific Advancement said "Pacific at AUT" is committed to the advancement of the Pacific communities in New Zealand and the Pacific Islands through education, research, professional training, academic opportunities and partnerships.

Every year Pacific at AUT celebrates Samoa Language week through developing short videos for social media to increase awareness and generate discussion on issues that impact our Pacific communities in Aotearoa and abroad.

"This year we celebrate Samoa Language Week with the release of our animated video which highlights the importance of immunisation, an opinion piece by Dr El-Shadan Tautolo on the topic on the importance of collective support for immunisation, and a video later this week from Project Manager of the PIF Study Hoy Neng Wong Soon and a mother herself, on the importance of staying true to her Samoan culture and upbringing," he said 

The Ministry for Pacific Peoples’ theme for this year's Samoa Language week is 'Tapena sou ōso mo lau malaga' — 'Prepare yourself a gift for your travels'.  

"We are currently facing a very uncertain future, and we need to be prepared for what lies ahead. As our videos will highlight throughout the language weeks, we need to stay true to our culture and traditions to navigate and be resilient in an increasingly changing world," Walter added

"For us, our interpretation of the broader theme chosen by the Ministry for Pacific Peoples is that we should take with us the ‘gift’ of our cultural experiences, to continue to build, grow and strengthen our resilience as Pacific peoples of the world."

Pacific at AUT has used the Samoa Language week to acknowledge the importance of immunisation in Pacific week. 

Associate Professor El-Shadan Tautolo, Director of the PIF Study said that given the recent measles outbreak in Samoa and Aotearoa, and in light of COVID-19 and the hunt for a vaccine, the topic of immunisation is highly relevant as more resilient futures are sought for Pacific communities in New Zealand and abroad.

"Given that this year we have used findings from the Pacific Islands Families Study as our themes for all the language week videos, it was appropriate that the important research our PIFS team did on immunisation featured," he added

"This video, in particular, is based on a finding from the Pacific Islands Families Study, that 89 per cent of Pacific infants, aged two and living in South Auckland, were fully immunised in 2002. The study showed a substantial increase from national survey data of 53 per cent in 1992, and prior to the establishment of the National Immunisation Register."

The video is narrated in Samoa to acknowledge the language week itself.

By Hyunsook Siutaia 30 May 2020, 3:00PM

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