21 June 2023

Whānau Āwhina Plunket nurses will be sharing their expertise to help set up a Plunket-style programme for under-fives in Kiribati, under an agreement signed between the organisation and the Pacific nation.

Whānau Awhina Plunket CE Fiona Kingsford and Kiribati Minister of Health Dr Tinte Itinteang

Whānau Awhina Plunket CE Fiona Kingsford and Kiribati Minister of Health Dr Tinte Itinteang

This week a health ministry delegation from Kiribati, which included the country’s Minister for Health Dr Tinte Itinteang, signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Whānau Āwhina Plunket. It paves the way for a nurse-led programme like Plunket to be set up in Kiribati.

Whānau Āwhina Plunket Chief Executive Fiona Kingsford says Plunket has been walking alongside supporting generations of families in Aotearoa New Zealand for 116 years.

“It’s an absolute honour for us to be sharing our knowledge and expertise with one of our Pacific neighbours, supporting Kiribati to improve outcomes for their families.

“Kiribati nurses will be mentored by our Plunket nurses. We will also be providing opportunities for them to visit Plunket clinics here to learn first-hand from Plunket nurses and the wider support team as part of the agreement. 

Although the under-fives mortality rate has declined in the past decade, Kiribati still has one of the highest infant mortality rates in the Pacific.

Kiribati Minister of Health & Medical Services Dr Tinte Itinteang says the relationship provides development opportunities for the nation’s health service.

“With Whānau Āwhina Plunket’s support there is real potential to make a difference to the health of our children, especially around improving our infant mortality rates.”

Whānau Āwhina Plunket will also support the Kiribati health service to develop a sustainable post graduate nurse training programme in the early years space.