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Sleeping pods funded for NZ babies

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 2/08/2016

Baby sleeping pods that could reduce the rate of sudden unexpected death in infancy (SUDI) will be funded for every newborn across the country.

Overturning its initial opposition to the "pepi-pods", the government has adopted a Green Party policy.

"Children's health experts and the Green Party have ben saying for years that wahakura save lives," Green Party Maori development spokesperson Marama Davidson said.

Around 60 children a year die from SUDI, with Maori babies making up 60 per cent of those deaths.

"There's still work to be done to ensure that no baby dies from SUDI in Aotearoa, but funding wahakura is a big step towards making that possible," Ms Davidson said.

A coroner reportedly made repeated recommendations over eight years for the pods, including flax-woven wahakura or plastic pepi-pods, to be used.

Earlier this year the Ministry of Health got rid of a contract with the group distributing pepi-pods to at-risk families and told district health boards not to spend money on them, the New Zealand Herald reported.

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