Pacific health professor 'concerned' at high rate of infant deaths among Tongans and Samoans

Babies born from Tongan and Samoan families are most likely to die from Sudden Unexplained Deaths in Infancy (SUDI) among Pasifika communities in New Zealand.

Head of Pacific Health Section at Auckland University Professor Vili Nosa told Pacific Breakfast that his team are embarking on a million dollar research project on infant care in Pacific communities. 

Nosa said they have been “collecting statistics but they’ve yet to find out why it's recurring among Pasifika communities".

The two year research will be on Samoan, Tongan, Cook Island, Maori and Niuean infant care practices and mothers. 

It will study bed sharing, cultural sleeping practices and positions, smoking and alcohol, nutrition as well as housing conditions and how they relate to infant care.

The team will compare and document these practices and link it to Pasifika people here in New Zealand with their methods.