Kiwi researcher awarded for work on indigenous health and wellbeing

Trish Carter and Dr Matire HarwoodCommunication and Information Commissioner Trish Carter (pictured left) attended an Auckland ceremony on 2 November, held in honour of clinical researcher Dr Matire Harwood, winner of a prestigious fellowship in the L'Oréal UNESCO For Women in Science programme.

Dr Harwood received the $250,000 fellowship for her research in addressing the inequities of health related outcomes between indigenous and non-indigenous people. Her research is important to the 400 million indigenous people around the world and it could improve their health outcomes not only in New Zealand but also internationally.

“Indigenous health and wellbeing is an international priority, with long-term conditions the biggest contributor to life expectancy gaps worldwide,” says Dr Harwood.  “Achieving equity within health and wellbeing will have a positive impact on the lives of patients, as well as for the community, the nation and the world over.

“The L’Oréal For Women In Science Fellowship will enable me to accelerate my work on the effect of indigenous-led interventions for long-term conditions including cardiovascular disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, respiratory conditions, obesity and smoking,” she added.

“This comes at an important time with Māori health outlined as a major priority in the 2017 - 2027 New Zealand Health Research Strategy which proposes more equitable health outcomes benefitting the nation as a whole.”

Since 1998 the L’Oréal-UNESCO for Women in Science programme has celebrated women researchers around the world whilst encouraging young women to enter the profession.