Te Reo Asthma Musical Visits Ruatoki School on World Asthma Day
In conjunction with World Asthma Day tomorrow (May 7), Te Reo asthma musical show Sailor the Pufferfish, will be visiting Tawera Bilingual School as part of a Bay of Plenty tour hosted by Asthma and respiratory Foundation NZ (ARFNZ).
The engaging Māori musical show is the first of its kind within Aotearoa, aiming to educate tamariki and kaiako  within Māori medium schools on asthma triggers, how to self-manage asthma and what to do in an asthma emergency.
Large numbers of Māori children (1,196 in 2017) are still being admitted to hospital with asthma, and some of these will have had a potentially life-threatening attack. Many of these hospitalisations can be prevented.

ARFNZ's Head of Education and Research, Teresa Demetriou says, "the Sailor the Puffer Fish Show is an amazing way to get the message of good asthma control across to primary school children in a non-threatening and entertaining way. Being able to deliver this show in Te Reo helps us to engage the Māori community in a way that we haven’t been able to do previously. Children just love the music and the bright colourful Sailor puppet; it really strengthens the message".  

The shows are presented by Māori presenter Hinerongonui Kingi, and are currently mid-way through the Bay of Plenty tour, having already been delivered to 12 kura throughout the region.
Hinerongonui comments, ““He tino whakahirahira ki te whakaako ki ō tātou tamariki me ō tātou kaiako e pā ana ki te mate huangō. Ko te hauora pai te tino kaupapa kia ora pai ai tātou. E harikoa ana au ki te whakaatu atu kia koutou i te whakaaturanga mate huangō nei ki ō tātou Kura Kaupapa Māori i tēnei tau.”
In addition to the Sailor Shows, the Foundation is also running an interactive World Asthma Day schools campaign which has seen over 130 schools across New Zealand sign up to be involved.

Letitia comments, “Statistics show there will be at least four children in a class of 30 students who have asthma, so we know that asthma has a large prevalence within our schools and communities. This year we have provided free activity packs for schools, educating students on how to respond to an asthma emergency should their classmate have one, and asking schools to check that their asthma emergency kit is up-to-date. The information provided within these resources is crucial, and could very well save lives” says Letitia.
Hundreds of asthma school activity packs have been sent out to schools in preparation for World Asthma Day. The activities involve fun and interactive games, arts and crafts, and suggestions for school fundraisers to aid in raising the national profile of asthma and respiratory illnesses within New Zealand.

ARFNZ is a charitable organisation that strives to provide resources and education across all areas of the community despite receiving no government funding. Some of the Foundation’s school-related initiatives include providing asthma emergency first aid kits, various printed resources in both English and Te Reo as well as a ‘Teachers’ Asthma Toolkit’, designed for teachers to access important asthma education in one place – via an interactive website.   

World Asthma Day is celebrated worldwide and the activity pack is available for all early childhood education centres, primary schools, intermediate schools and secondary schools throughout New Zealand.    
Tomorrow’s show will be held at Tawera Bilingual school in Ruatoki at 9.30am. For interviews or photo opportunities please contact Judy on (027) 315 8763.
For more information on World Asthma Day please visit, https://www.asthmafoundation.org.nz/news-events/2019/world-asthma-day-2019. For further information on ARFNZ’s Māori resources please visit: https://www.asthmafoundation.org.nz/health-professionals/resources-in-te-reo-m%C4%81ori