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Three-day conference on metabolic disease

Ngati Porou Hauora and the Maurice Wilkins Centre are preparing for next week’s conference, Tatai Oranga: Joining forces to tackle metabolic conditions.

The conference, to be hosted at Waipiro Bay and in Gisborne, will combine the expertise of the community, clinicians and researchers to tackle the epidemic of metabolic diseases — type-2 diabetes, kidney and heart disease and gout.

Ngati Porou Hauora chief executive Rose Kahaki says,” an aim is to provide a context for a wide range of experts to share their knowledge and perspectives with us and korero together to build a consensus on approaches to improve our wellbeing, by reducing the prevalence and impact of these diseases.”

The conference will be held over three days from Wednesday to Friday, hosted by te whanau a Iritekura and kaumatua elder te reo.

The first two days at Iritekura Marae in Waipiro Bay will have a particular focus on reducing the impact these diseases are having in Maori and Pacific communities.

Maurice Wilkins Centre and University of Otago researcher Professor Tony Merriman says,“there is an exciting line-up of international and leading New Zealand researchers and clinicians involved in nutrition and community prevention, genetics and biology, to provide a picture of the wide-ranging causes of metabolic disease.

“International speakers include Dr Giles Yeo from Cambridge University who features on the BBC’s Trust Me I’m a Doctor episodes airing in this country, Dr Joseph Yracheta an affiliate of the University of Washington who is working with indigenous communities in the USA and Professor Jose Florez is from Harvard University.

“Among others from Aotearoa will be Dr Lance O’Sullivan from the Moko Foundation in Kaitaia, Teepa Wawatai, the chairperson of Ngati Porou Hauora, and Dr Lisa Te Morenga from the University of Otago, who will focus on the role of nutrition in preventable diseases that inflict a particularly high health burden in our communities.”

The opening afternoon of the conference at Iritekura Marae will focus on “bigger picture issues” and encourage discussion of approaches to finding more collaborative solutions .

Local people are strongly encouraged to participate on Wednesday afternoon.

Those interested in attending the whole three-day conference, or one or both of the more scientific and clinically-focused days at Iritekura Marae on Thursday, or in Gisborne on Friday, can reserve a place by registering online:http://www.queenstownresearchweek.org/qmb-satellite-metabolic-disease/