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Paunu clinics return after ‘Covid’ break

Thursday 16 June 2022 | Written by Melina Etches | Published in Health, National

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Paunu clinics return after ‘Covid’ break
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.