Welcome to the New Zealand Ministry of Health

The Government's principal advisor on health and disability: improving, promoting and protecting the health of all New Zealanders

Live Organ Donor Compensation

Title: A gift of hope - Georgina Beyer & Grant Pittams

[Grant Pittams sitting at the beach]

[Grant] What happened was that I saw a friend who was desparately in need, in this case of a kidney transplant.

So what I was able to do was provide some hope.

So I got in touch with Georgina. We went through a very extensive assessment process which has led to, so far a totally successful transplant.

Wellington Hospital assigned a co-ordinator and we met a number of times and talked quite a lot.

The co-ordinator was able to answer and lot of questions and the co-ordinator was supportive, helpful and he was very much there when I needed him.

And I thought that was extremely effective relationship.

[Grant walks along the beach]

The surgery was much less than I expected, so I was only in Auckland Hospital for 48 hours. I then stayed in Auckland for another 2 to 3 days before returning home and I was back at work 10 days after that.

[Grant continues walking along the beach]

I had what I would describe as normal post-surgery, you're tired, your body is recovering. But I felt very very good. The care was excellent, I was well looked after and I was able to return to work very quickly.

The magic moment was seeing Georgina get out of the car when she came and visited after the surgery. The old Georgina that I knew which was a strong, vibrant person was back. Someone who I hadn't seen for several years. That was the magic moment.

[Title: Five months after surgery...]

[Georgina] Oh, well it was out of the blue I can put it that way.

And he just essentially put it to me.

[Grant is greeted by Georgina at her house. Grant walks inside the door.]

[Grant] Hello Georgie!

[Georgina] He just sort of said, "You and I both had a few friends who have passed away recently and you know, mutual people that we know and I've made a decision that I'd like to donate my kidney to you".

I promptly sat there and howled and cried it was incredible, you know I really can't sort of put it into words the sort of wave of emotion that went through me.

[Grant and Georgina sitting on the couch together]

[Grant] What this is about is hope. Something I've said, lots and lots and lots of times. So people said to me "Oh you're a hero" and I said "No, I'm not, I've simply done something that anyone could do and should do for someone that they knew well and cared for".

[Georgina] There are no words that can cover, I think the range of emotion you feel when someone makes a gift like that. And of course its life saving.

In this video Ministry of Health employee Grant Pittams shares his story of donating a kidney to long time friend Georgina Beyer. From 5 December 2017 people who donate a kidney or part of their liver will be entitled to compensation for loss of earnings for up to 12 weeks while they recover following donation surgery.

Read more about changes to Live Organ Donor Compensation.

How immunisation works

Title: Immunisation and how it works

[Kids playing football outside]

[Voiceover] Immunisation is a simple and effective way to help protect children (and adults) against serious diseases.

By immunising your child, you give them the best start to a healthy future, and you protect your community by reducing the spread of disease.

[Slide showing chapters of the video - Immunisation and how it works, How your immunse system works, How immunisation works, Community immunity, Why it's important to immunise on time, every time, Vaccine safety]

[Slide - How your immunse system works]

[Dr Kiri Bird standing at a hospital reception desk]

Kia ora whanau, I’m Dr Kiri Bird.

Every day your body comes across many different types of germs.

Some of these can make you very sick.

[Animation show a child fighting off germs with their immune system]

Your body has a natural defence system, called the immune system, which helps fight off germs that can cause serious disease.

[Animation showing antibodies attacking germs]

One of the ways your body fights off germs is by making special antibodies that know what a particular germ looks like, and can find and destroy it.

The first time your body meets a new germ, it can take some time for your body to make these antibodies.

Until those germs are destroyed, you might get sick.

But later on, if you come across the same germ again, your body can remember it and fight it off before you get sick.

[Dr Kiri Bird standing at a hospital reception desk]

This is why once you’ve had a disease, you usually don’t catch it again because your body fights off the germ before you can get sick.

[Slide - How immunisation works]

Immunisation protects against diseases in the same way.

[Animation show how immunisation affects your immune system]

It gives your immune system a practice run with a broken-up or weakened germ so it won’t give you the disease.

Your body learns how to recognise those germs and is ready to fight them off before they can make you sick.

You may get a fever or a headache after you are given a vaccine.

This is a common response to the vaccine and should pass quickly.

If you’re worried at any time, talk with your doctor or nurse.

[Animation showing what happens once you've been immmunised and you come across the germs again]

Once you’ve been immunised, If you come across the same germ again, your body will remember it and fight off the germ before you get sick.

This is how immunisation protects against disease.

[Slide - Community immunity]

[Dr Kiri Bird sitting inside a doctor's clinic]

There’s another way that immunisation can help protect our whanau, and that’s by making sure that we don’t even come into contact with preventable diseases in the first place.

[Animation showing the differences between when only a few people are immunised disease is more likely to spread.]

[Voiceover] When only a few people are immunised, diseases can spread very quickly.

[Animation showing when a large amount of people in the community are immunised, the disease is less likely to spread]

When more people are immunised, diseases can’t spread as quickly – but are still able to spread.

But when most people are immunised, disease can’t spread through our community and so most people stay well.

There are always a few people in every community who are either too young to be immunised or have a weakened immune system, such as cancer patients.

These people can get very sick when they catch a disease, so it’s really important that everyone around them is immunised.

So, if enough people are immunised, the community as a whole can be protected.

This is called community immunity.

[Dr Kiri Bird sitting inside a doctor's clinic]

In New Zealand, measles outbreaks among teenagers and young adults are still common because many of them were not immunised as young children.

[Shots of various media stories reporting on the spread of whooping cough and measles]

[Voiceover] Diseases like whooping cough or measles can spread quickly.

If most of the people in a community are not immunised, these diseases can spread rapidly and lead to an outbreak.

Community immunity can help to prevent this risk.

[Dr Kiri Bird sitting inside a doctor's clinic]

When we choose to immunise, we not only protect ourselves, we protect our whanau, and our whole community.

[Slide - Why it's important to immunise on time, every time]

The National Immunisation Schedule sets out the best time to get immunised so that your child can be protected when they need it most.

For example, women need more protection against influenza while they are pregnant.

[Shot of Mother holding young baby]

Babies need to be protected as young as possible against whooping cough and other serious diseases.

[Slide show three babies - aged 6 weeks, 3 months and 5 months]

In New Zealand, baby’s first immunisations are due at 6 weeks, 3 months and 5 months.

Some vaccines are recommended at a slightly older age.

[Slide showing a 15 month old, 4 year old and 11 and 12 year old children]

At age 15 months, young children get immunised against measles and chickenpox, as well as boosters for some of their earlier vaccines.

[Slide showing all age groups of the diseases they need to be immunised for]

Boosters are important as they remind your immune system’s memory to keep protecting against harmful germs.

[Dr Kiri Bird sitting inside a doctor's clinic]

It’s important to immunise on time. Delaying immunisation can put your child at greater risk of catching a serious disease.

[Slide - Vaccine safety]

[Professor Swee Tan in a lab observing disease samples under microscope]

All vaccines used in New Zealand have been thoroughly tested to make sure they are safe and that they work well before they are approved, a process that can take many years.

Safety monitoring continues even after the vaccines are approved and being used by millions of people around the world.

[Dr Kiri Bird sitting inside a doctor's clinic]

That’s how we know the benefits of immunisation far outweigh any potential risk, and why immunisation is recommended by the Ministry of Health and health professionals.

[Voiceover] Protect your whanau, immunise on time.

Immunisation is the best way to protect against a number of serious diseases – it shows your body’s natural defence system how to fight off germs before they can make you sick. Check out our new video on the basics of how it all works.

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