Sudden Unexpected Death in Infancy (SUDI) is the leading cause of preventable mortality in New Zealand infants. Māori and Pacific infants have consistently higher rates of SUDI compared to non-Māori and non-Pacific infants.
SUDI is the unexpected death of an infant under one year of age. SUDI is a collective term that is used when the death is initially unexplained but may be found to be caused by high-risk conditions after extensive investigations.
The Ministry commissioned research in 2020 to better understand the reasons behind the number of babies dying from SUDI and identify improvements to the Ministry-led National SUDI Prevention Programme (NSPP). The NSPP is the latest iteration of SUDI-prevention initiatives.
Kia Puawai recommends a complete refresh of the NSPP design that:
- embeds Te Tiriti o Waitangi, and kaupapa Māori and Pacific based principles in its design
- is designed in partnership with Māori and in collaboration with Pacific whānau and health leadership
- brings together national governance and local level delivery of the programme services into a single framework
- integrates the programme into grassroot communities (eg, marae, Kohanga Reo).