The National SUDI Prevention Coordination Service (NSPCS) is dismayed to once again see a Coroner’s ruling that the death of an infant was preventable had the whānau been given a pēpi-pod or wahakura at birth. We strongly implore the Ministry of Health to reconsider its funding model to ensure another preventable loss of life like this does not occur.
We tautoko the recommendation of Coroner Alexander Ho that the Ministry of Health consider automatically issuing all newborns with a pēpi-pod or wahakura at birth rather than making it an option or another decision new mums must make in a time when they may be overwhelmed with many other decisions to make.
General Manager of NSPCS Fay Selby-Law explains, "we have seen the difference in whānau who have attended wānanga wahakura where they learn about the value and use of wahakura in protecting their pēpi during sleep by always using the bed made by them". Currently district health boards are funded to provide safe sleep beds e.g. pēpi-pods and wahakura.