Hawke’s Bay District Health Board says it is making every effort to reduce the high rate of Maori infant mortality.
The board’s Maori Health Director, Tracee Te Huia, says the most recent figures from 2008 show nine Maori babies die per 1000 live births – almost three times the rate of non-Maori.
She says because of the complexities in compiling up-to-date statistics she cannot guarantee the rate has dropped in the past three years.
But Ms te Huia says the DHB has improved the immunisation of infants, introduced a safe sleep programme and done a lot of work with young mothers on breast feeding.
She says education is the key to reducing Maori infant mortality.