Water Analysis Project

November 22, 2017

Dr Anita Jagroop-Dearing BSc Hons MPhil FRSPH PhD, International Postgraduate Coordinator in Health Science & Nursing / Senior Academic (Research Project Manager, HBDHB), a summary of what was recently in the Newspapers Hawkes Bay Today and other media.

Dr Anita Jagroop-Dearing from Eastern Institute of Technology (EIT) will manage a research programme where the Health Research Council of New Zealand (HRC) is investing $437,949. Chief Executive Professor Kath McPherson announced that this new programme will carry out an in-depth analysis of the unprecedented water supply outbreak in Havelock North last August 2016, where more than 5000 people were infected with the bacteria Campylobacter. A special funding allocation was awarded due to the significance of New Zealand’s largest water supply contamination event.

This programme of research will bring together experts from across the health and academic sectors to support the region. Hawke’s Bay District Health Board would lead the programme along with the University of Otago’s Department of Public Health in Wellington. Investigators include doctors and scientists from the Institute of Environmental Science Research, HBDHB and Massey University. The programme is made up of six separate studies, each covering different aspects of the Campylobacter outbreak. This research would provide the opportunity for health officials, local authorities and communities at large to be better prepared. These include a detailed assessment of the outbreak and the public health sector’s response to it; an investigation into the longer-term health impacts of the outbreak; and an exploration of non-traditional early warning detection tools that could have potentially helped public health professionals identify the outbreak sooner.