Mamatira Patia with her grandchildren Moerai Patia and Metua-Aroha Patia at the Tepuka Child Welfare Clinic for the Paunu. Photo: Melina Etches/22061504
The “Paunu” or monitoring of children and mothers’ health in Rarotonga have restarted this week after an 18-month hiatus due to Covid-19 precautions and restrictions.
Paunu clinics (similar to Plunket check clinics in New Zealand) include the weighing of babies, checking of skin conditions, discussing any problems with parents, and ensuring vaccinations are up to date.
On Tuesday this week, the Cook Islands Child Welfare Association
began the Paunu checks to promote health awareness and to monitor the health
care of young children aged 0-4 years.
“The response has been amazing,” said an association
spokesperson, in the district of Tepuka. Eleven toddlers were brought in for
their checks at the clinics of Tepuka and Kiikii/Ooa.
The Cook Islands Child Welfare Association is one of
the oldest non-profit voluntary organisations in the country, established in
1933 by a small group of women who dedicated their time to helping clinical
nurses throughout community clinics in Rarotonga.
Today, the Paunu will be conducted at the Kavera and
Tupapa Cook Islands Child Welfare Association clinics. The organisation works
closely with Te Marae Ora Ministry of Health and clinical public health nurses.