Date Published: 22 March 2006

Maori Infertility and Assisted Reproduction Study

Health News from New Zealand.

Maori attitudes to and experience of infertility and assisted human reproduction are the subject of research at Auckland University in New Zealand.

Principal Investigator Dr Marewa Glover from the Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences said that advancements in assisted human reproductive (AHR) technology have considerable significance for Maori but as a result of concentration on other serious health issues affecting the indigenous peoples of New Zealand ('tangata whenua') little is known about issues relating to Maori and infertility.

" Negative attention given to high teen pregnancy rates and higher rates of STIs (sexually transmitted infections) create an impression that infertility is not an issue for us. In fact, the size of Maori families is steadily declining and while there is a variety of contributing socio-economic factors, we do not know if infertility among Maori is a contributor to this trend.
_ My research partly arose from my own experience of using fertility services. I started to wonder if other Maori faced similar issues. Then I started looking at the research on Maori use of in-vitro fertilisation, awareness of pre-implantation, and genetic diagnosis of potential infertility issues, and found there was a real lack of quality information."

Dr Glover will host a series of events in Auckland this month to gather the views of different Maori, starting on 12 March with an event for takataapui Maori (gay, lesbian, trans and bisexual).

This will be followed by events for:

  • Maori health workers on Wednesday, 29 March; 10.00am at Ruapotaka Marae, 106 Line Road, Glen Innes.
  • Maori men and women who haven't experienced infertility but who may have thought about or been asked to help others have children on Saturday, 1 April; 11.00am at School of Population Health (Bldg 730), North Entrance, 100 Morrin Rd, Glen Innes.
  • Maori who may have experienced infertility on Saturday, 8 April; 11.00am at School of Population Health (Bldg 730), North Entrance, 100 Morrin Rd, Glen Innes

Other such events will be run for other Maori groups and sections of communities.

Results of the research, which is funded by New Zealand's Māori Centre of Research Excellence ('Nga Pae o Te Maramatanga') will be reported later this year.

Source(s): Auckland University, New Zealand

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