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Opinion

Paunu provides peace of mind for Rarotonga mums

Friday 26 August 2022 | Written by Melina Etches | Published in Health, National

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Paunu provides peace of mind for Rarotonga mums
A happy six-month-old baby Israel Vaurasi from Vaka Puaikura at the Paunu Day yesterday. MELINA ETCHES/22082502

An “amazing” turnout of 32 babies and toddlers from Vaka Puaikura attended the Paunu Day yesterday.

Paunu Day is run by the Cook Islands Child Welfare Association, where child’s growth, development and general wellbeing is monitored to track their health and development.

Child Welfare Association executive officer Susan Sadaraka said the Paunu Day in Puaikura was the best so far in Rarotonga in terms of turnout.

Pitaki Vaurasi and her husband Aporosa have five children. She attended the clinic to check on the health of their youngest, six-month-old son Israel Vaurasi.

“This (Paunu) is good for our kids so you can see their progress and know about your child’s health of your child,” Pitaki said.

“I like the fact that my baby can get a full check-up and I can raise any concerns I have with the nurse here, it’s a good service for our community.”

Mireja Mataora at just nearly three weeks old has a full head of hair and is very alert. She is the youngest child of four, of Victor and Latisha (nee Maui) Mataora.

Latisha said when Mireja was only a week old she was happy to have a nurse visit her at home for check-up.

“Today is her (Mireja) first Paunu. Paunu is good, it’s about making sure that your baby is hitting the right targets and having someone there to discuss any concerns you might have which is very important,” she said yesterday.

“Although she is my fourth child, every time you have a baby it’s still new (experience) because there are things that you kind of forget so its always nice to have the Paunu programme in the community.

“This is definitely something that should always be continued, this gives the mum’s especially, peace of mind.”

The children’s weight and height were assessed by Volunteer Services Abroad (VSA) plunket nurse Molly Dalton from New Zealand. Dalton is currently working alongside the Cook Islands Child Welfare Association.

The Association’s vision is for safe and better health care for babies, motherhood and fatherhood in the Cook Islands – Ora’anga meitaki e te matutu no te Pepe, Mama e Papa i roto i te Kuki Airani.