Te Awakairangi Health Network launched its Winter Wellness campaign last week at an event that encouraged our local community to prioritise their health and do their bit to reduce pressure on the health system through what will be a challenging season. Although winter is usually a busy time for primary care, our practices in the Hutt Valley are seeing a much greater number of people affected by influenza, COVID-19 and other common respiratory illnesses.
Winter Wellness Wednesday was held on 8 June at our 218 High Street vaccination hub and embodied the Ministry of Health’s ‘Stay well this winter’ campaign that provides accessible advice and information to the public about looking after themselves. The successful expo-like event attracted nearly 200 people, many of whom were Māori or Pacific whānau and involved providers like Kokiri Marae, Pacific Health Services, Fire and Emergency, NZ Blood, Regional Public Health, and Plunket.
During the 6-hour event, close to 50 flu vaccines were administered along with nine COVID-19 and four MMR vaccines. Not only did every family received a Wellness pack (Vitamin C, hand sanitiser, tissues, Hutt City council free child swim passes, lozenges, water and RATs) but children could receive a free haircut and have their face painted. Regional Public Health gave out free heaters and duvets, the Bee Healthy Dental Service were booking children in for routine appointments and families took advantage of complementary hot nutritious kai. Many families received the equivalent of over $100 value in giveaways or promotions but more importantly, gained resilience to stay well during winter.