Maori healthcare provider Tui Ora now offers saliva testing

Tui Ora now offers saliva tests for Covid, which are less invasive.  (File photo)

SIMON O’CONNOR / Tips

Tui Ora now offers saliva tests for Covid, which are less invasive. (File photo)

Health care provider Taranaki Maori Tui Ora is now able to offer saliva tests as well as nasal swabs to test for Covid-19.

If someone is asymptomatic and has been vaccinated before, it’s a good alternative to a nose swab, said Tamara Ruakere, CEO of Whānau Ora.

“As healthcare providers, we regularly test our employees to make sure they are Covid-free, so this is a great tool that we have access to.”

However, if people have symptoms, Tui Ora recommends a nasal swab.

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Unlike a nasal swab, the test does not need to be performed by clinicians but can be performed by personnel trained in the technique – a course that only takes a few hours.

Tui Ora kaiārahi Zanita Taylor recently took a training course and said the experience was easy.

“The most complicated is the computer system, but even that is not difficult, the swabbing process itself is quite easy.

“We ask anyone who comes for a test to have nothing to eat or drink, vape or smoke for an hour, and we need them to produce 1.5ml of clear saliva for the sample. . “

Rako Science, a private company based in New Zealand in Auckland, provides all the kit and training, as well as IT and technical support.

Tui Ora chief executive Hayden Wano said that “access to testing and vaccination and planning ahead for widespread community transmission of Covid when it occurs – not if it does occur – is our goal at the moment ”.

“We are working closely with Te Aranga (who works for the eight iwi of Taranaki), Pinnacle Health and the Taranaki District Health Council to stay ahead of the game and use the time we now have to prepare. “


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