University of Sydney academic Professor Jioji Ravulo has worked with Multicultural NSW and NSW Health to develop a new booklet to help address common concerns in Pasifika families around COVID-19 transmission and symptoms, vaccines, testing and managing the illness at home.
“A lot of Pasifika families live in multigenerational homes and are worried about the negative impacts of COVID-19 and may need help with getting correct information to avoid serious and long-term harms of this virus,” said Professor Ravulo, who is of Fijian Indigenous heritage and acted as a community consultant and mental health expert on the project.
“We are striving to challenge unhelpful misconceptions and perceptions that have circulated across our communities by creating this toolkit that is full of practical tips and community-friendly information on where to get help.”
The 33-page booklet, called COVID-19 HOPE Toolkit (Help Options for Preparedness in Emergency), includes practical tips on where to get the vaccines, how to do a RAT, what to do if you need to isolate, what symptoms to look out for and specialised information for seniors and vulnerable people, including those living with a disability and information for people not vaccinated.
Launched online by the Hon. Mark Coure, Minister for Multiculturalism and Seniors, the COVID-19 HOPE Toolkit was developed by the Core Pacific Collective (representing four community groups) and Multicultural NSW.
“It is an amazing document – well done to everyone involved. For those that have kids, like I do – the infographic on supporting kids during this time is a fantastic idea,” said the Hon. Mark Coure during the launch event.
“On behalf of the New South Wales Government and Multiculturalism NSW I really want to thank the Pacific communities for their immense support especially over the past two years and for contributing immensely to our broader social and economic development.
“Since July 2021 the New South Wales Government and the Core Pacific Collective have been working together to support the Pacific community during the pandemic and help the government's response to this crisis.”
The COVID-19 HOPE Toolkit has been translated into six Pasifika languages: Cook Islands Māori, Niuean, Fijian, Fijian Hindi, Samoan and Tongan.
“This is vital because providing this toolkit in our Pasifika languages ensures a shared understanding of the various health concepts and practical resources that are available across the community. It assists in Pacific people feeling included and appreciated for our own diverse perspectives in this shared conversation,” said Professor Ravulo.
The toolkit will be available via the NSW Council Pacific Communities website, or you can contact firstname.lastname@example.org for a copy.
Declaration: Funded by Multicultural NSW, the COVID-19 HOPE Toolkit is compiled by Donina Va’a from Pacific Women’s Professional and Business Network with the guidance of two reference groups: the Technical Experts Advisory Group led by Dr Jan Fizzell, Senior Medical Advisor, NSW Health and the Community Reference Group facilitated by Professor Jioji Ravulo, Chair, Social Work and Policy Studies, the University of Sydney.
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