23 Dec 2005

High number of New Zealand's Pacific children contract gastentronitis

5:06 pm on 23 December 2005

New Zealand's health authorities say the increase in the number of Pacific children under the age of six hospitalised by gastroenteritis which includes diarrhoea and vomiting is a huge concern.

A two year research by Auckland's Regional Public Health Service shows at least one in five Pacific children in South Auckland will need hospital treatment for gastro though much higher numbers are likely because many cases are not reported.

A food safety authority community worker Raniera Basset says cultural issues may play a big part with Pacific kids being sick because they in households with more people.

"What we are finding out now is because they are Pacific whanau communally you know you might have two or three who live in one house and they could share a lot of the facilities in the home, and one of the key things is that if you've got a lot of people living in one house it's quite easy to pass on bugs too."