Faith and religious leaders and various Pacific church members from across the South Auckland region formed the group of 400 participants who took part in the LotuMoui Summit, an all day community fono, held at the Telstra Clear stadium in February. The LotuMoui Summit is the third major fono on Pacific health in the Counties Manukau region. The 2010 summit presented the achievements and milestones of the DHB-Pacific Church partnership. The first fono in 2004 was the initial step in creating a partnership between the District Health Board and the local Pacific Church Ministers. Feedback from this fono led to the development of a regional operational plan which was launched in 2006 and the LotuMoui Games in 2008. Ministers and church health committees were invited from the 130 Churches participating in the LotuMoui Programme. Attendees also included a wide cross-section of Pacific leaders interested in improving the health and wellness of their congregations and communities. The Summit was an opportunity for Pacific community and church leaders to share knowledge and successes of health programmes operating within their congregations. Counties Manukau District Health Board provided formal evaluations of the wider LotuMoui programme. It also asked for community input to
guide the future direction of Pacific health and the development of the LotuMoui programme beyond 2010. The Summit endeavoured to find answers to the barriers that prevent Pacific people engaging in health interventions, the options for interventions within the community with the current capacity; and ways in which the health system could support the community achieve positive health outcomes. According to Manu Sione, GM Pacific CMDHB, the sustainability of the LotuMoui healthchurch relationship is crucial to improving the communityâ€™s general health. He says that â€œstrong linkages, and more engagement and participation between health programmes, church members and Primary Care providers will continue to increase better health outcomes across all Pacific communities in Counties Manukauâ€?. Discussions on the day covered health issues affecting Pacific men, women, youth and children and those with long term conditions. Specific topics related to engagement with Primary Care and the impact on Pacific communities.
Counties Manukau Health staff publication