Dialysis patient helps her iwi fight COVID-19

By Bronson Perich

Kidney failure changes one’s entire life. Dialysing leaves a person’s body scarred, and the treatments take up to nine hours. But that doesn’t stop Janine Davis from helping her people fight COVID-19.

“A life on dialysis is similar to being on lockdown anyway, so to see the nation committing to keeping vulnerable whānau and kaumātua safe was heartwarming and I’m extremely grateful. The best thing was being able to dialysis during the day while working, rather than staying up to 2am to do it,” Janine Davis says.

Davis is part of the Pandemic Response unit for Ātiawa ki Whakarongotai Charitable Trust and Hora Te Pai Health Service. She works in a team of four to deliver essential information to her people. Her first role was to develop a communication’s strategy for the pandemic utilising the iwi strategic plan, Tuia te Kawe.

“It has been especially important to uplift our iwi using manaakitanga through this period, we do this on the marae all the time so it’s natural for us. For me, whatever we do has to relate back to our marae and our people,” she says.

Janine says although the lockdown did have ‘its moments’ especially in the time she was living with four generations under one roof, there have also been silver linings.

“It is an honour to do this work as I am part of the vulnerable whānau that had to bunker down early. The Trust enabled me to work from home to focus on my health and our workplan.”

Around 3,000 Māori live in the Te Ātiawa iwi boundary, from Waikanae to Paekākāriki, and over half of them are registered with the Paraparaumu based Hora Te Pai Health Service.

Janine says the collaboration between iwi organisation and health provider has been incredible, and it has also created new relationships with other Kāpiti Coast organisations.