DigiFale – strengthening digital health literacy among Pacific communities

DigiFale participants from Mangere PIPC Niue Ekalesia

A new programme developed by Moana Research – DigiFale[1] – is an intergenerational approach designed to strengthen digital health literacy among Pacific communities.  Piloted during the first COVID-19 lockdown among a community of Niue elderly from Mangere PIPC (Pacific Islands Presbyterian Church), South Auckland, the provision of a digital device coupled with digital skills (under the guidance of their DigiFale youth ambassadors) was facilitated in a collective and culturally anchored environment familiar to the group.

On Monday 23rd November 2020, a DigiFale Appreciation Dinner honoured the 40+ elderly and young people (ranging from 8 to 76 years) who participated in the programme.  The high trust learning environment was encouraging for many who were learning to explore new digital spaces safely and confidently, in particular the intergenerational communication and teaching received from their DigiFale youth ambassadors.

DigiFale builds on the work presented at the 2019 HiNZ (Health Informatics New Zealand) conference by Innovations Lead Amio Ikihele “Strengthening digital health literacy among Pacific communities”.  It also acknowledges work the team have been involved in since 2013 (with the previous TAHA Well Pacific Mother and Infant Service) and the development of the Tapuaki digital platforms designed at improving Pacific maternal health for Pacific families.  When digital mediums were a rarity in the New Zealand health sector, Tapuaki became one of the first smartphone apps and digital platforms funded by the Ministry of Health and released to the sector.

For more information about DigiFale, please contact Amio Ikihele on [email protected] or 0211752087.

[1] ‘digi’ is the shortened version of digital and ‘fale’ is a term used for house in the Niue and Samoan language

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