Publications by authors named "Michelle Mako"

3 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Maintaining cancer services during the COVID-19 pandemic: the Aotearoa New Zealand experience.

Lancet Reg Health West Pac 2021 Jun 9;11:100172. Epub 2021 Jun 9.

Te Aho o Te Kahu, Cancer Control Agency, Molesworth St, Wellington, New Zealand.

COVID-19 caused significant disruption to cancer services around the world. The health system in Aotearoa New Zealand has fared better than many other regions, with the country being successful, so far, in avoiding sustained community transmission. However, there was a significant initial disruption to services across the cancer continuum, resulting in a decrease in the number of new diagnoses of cancer in March and April 2020. Te Aho o Te Kahu, Aotearoa New Zealand's national Cancer Control Agency, coordinated a nationwide response to minimise the impact of COVID-19 on people with cancer. The response, outlined in this paper, included rapid clinical governance, a strong equity focus, development of national clinical guidance, utilising new ways of delivering care, identifying and addressing systems issues and close monitoring and reporting of the impact on cancer services. Diagnostic procedures and new cancer registrations increased in the months following the national lockdown, and the cumulative number of cancer registrations in 2020 surpassed the number of registrations in 2019 by the end of September. Cancer treatment services - surgery, medical oncology, radiation oncology and haematology - continued during the national COVID-19 lockdown in March and April 2020 and continued to be delivered at pre-COVID-19 volumes in the months since. We are cautiously optimistic that, in general, the COVID-19 pandemic does not appear to have increased inequities in cancer diagnosis and treatment for Māori in Aotearoa New Zealand.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source Listing
June 2021

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on cancer diagnosis and service access in New Zealand-a country pursuing COVID-19 elimination.

Lancet Reg Health West Pac 2021 May 22;10:100127. Epub 2021 Mar 22.

Te Aho o Te Kahu - Cancer Control Agency, Molesworth St, Wellington, New Zealand.

Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted cancer services globally. New Zealand has pursued an elimination strategy to COVID-19, reducing (but not eliminating) this disruption. Early in the pandemic, our national Cancer Control Agency () began monitoring and reporting on service access to inform national and regional decision-making. In this manuscript we use high-quality, national-level data to describe changes in cancer registrations, diagnosis and treatment over the course of New Zealand's response to COVID-19.

Methods: Data were sourced (2018-2020) from national collections, including cancer registrations, inpatient hospitalisations and outpatient events. Cancer registrations, diagnostic testing (gastrointestinal endoscopy), surgery (colorectal, lung and prostate surgeries), medical oncology access (first specialist appointments [FSAs] and intravenous chemotherapy attendances) and radiation oncology access (FSAs and megavoltage attendances) were extracted. Descriptive analyses of count data were performed, stratified by ethnicity (Indigenous Māori, Pacific Island, non-Māori/non-Pacific).

Findings: Compared to 2018-2019, there was a 40% decline in cancer registrations during New Zealand's national shutdown in March-April 2020, increasing back to pre-shutdown levels over subsequent months. While there was a sharp decline in endoscopies, pre-shutdown volumes were achieved again by August. The impact on cancer surgery and medical oncology has been minimal, but there has been an 8% year-to-date decrease in radiation therapy attendances. With the exception of lung cancer, there is no evidence that existing inequities in service access between ethnic groups have been exacerbated by COVID-19.

Interpretation: The impact of COVID-19 on cancer care in New Zealand has been largely mitigated. The New Zealand experience may provide other agencies or organisations with a sense of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on cancer services within a country that has actively pursued elimination of COVID-19.

Funding: Data were provided by New Zealand's Ministry of Health, and analyses completed by Te Aho o Te Kahu staff.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source Listing
May 2021

Modelling: one tool in the decision-making toolkit.

N Z Med J 2021 03 12;134(1531):8-10. Epub 2021 Mar 12.

Tumutuarua Mana Taurite - Equity Director, Te Whiri Mana Taurite, Te Aho o Te Kahu, Cancer Control Agency.

View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

March 2021