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Social Model Of Health Of The Maori Tribe

1284 words - 5 pages

Discuss and Contrast the Maori and Social models of Health

"Health is a social, economic and political issue and above all a fundamental human right. Inequality, poverty, exploitation, violence and injustice are at the root of ill-health" (Braum, 2008, p.3).The Maori model of Health, in particular "Whare Tapa Wha" is based on four simple key aspects to ensure overall general health and well being, Taha Wairua, Taha Hinengaro, Taha Tinana and Taha Whanau. These are the basic foundations or stepping stones to an significant determinant of good health, that can be found across the many multiple health models (Durie, 1998, p.66). This model has a mezzo focus, taking the micro of the individuals well being and focusing on the spiritual, mental and physical aspects, whereas the macro side looks at the "individuals wider social systems" (Durie, 2008, p.69) in the community. The Social model of Health being macro, is dependant on socio economic influences such as political, social, cultural and psychological has impacted on the environment is universally widespread "people who are less well off have substantially shorter life expectancies and more illness then the rich" (Wilkinson, 2003, p.g 1). This essay will compare and contrast the Maori model of Health Whare Tapa Wha and Social model of Health, and suggest why Whare Tapa Wha is more effective for Maori individuals in promoting healthy living and well being in New Zealand.

According to a number authors (McNeil, Paterson; Sundborn; DeSouza; Weblemoe; McKinney and Smith 2008, p.95) "Human experience involves a number of dynamics, Cultural understanding and awareness have significant impact on health and wellbeing". Maori culture and heritage is still practiced by some individuals. It is maintained and influenced by customary beliefs and day to day life within the individuals group or Whanau setting. Among varied roles Psychiatrist, Professor and Author Durie, observed that there was a need in the Health system that was missing a holistic approach that was culturally sensitive to ones beliefs and customs. The first time this model was presented was back in 1982 in Kirikiriroa (Hamilton), at a Maori Woman's Welfare League resource project hui huinga, Rapuora (Durie, 1998, p.69). During this session, kaumatua Tupana te Hira expressed in Maori the importance of Wairua, as the foundations of Health. Health professionals Henry Bennett, Dr Jim Hodge and Mason Durie, all came to an conclusion that Whare Tapa Wha embodied a broad view on health, that combined an umbrella or tree concept, covering the four basic ingredients to good health (p.69). Durie also commented on this 'frame work of the building' model '...simple even simplistic but that is also its appeal'.
The Maori Health model has many multiple branches that all have similar principles and format, for example Te Pae Mahutonga. This model is based on the constellations, with six principles based on the stars in southern cross(p.69). This...

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