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Advances in Complementary & Alternative medicine

Traditional Maori lense applied to Sterilization science: Sterilization of Traditional Reusable Medical Device. Pounamu and the Cutting of Iho, The Umbilical Cord (Funiculus Umbilicalis)

  • Open or CloseAlison Stewart1,2, Tracey Kereopa2,3 and Campbell Macgregor1,4,5*

    1Faculty of Health Education and Environment, Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology, New Zealand

    2New Zealand Sterile Sciences Association - executive member

    3Central sterile services department, Wairarapa District Health Board, New Zealand.

    4School of Health and Medical Science, Central Queensland University, Australia

    5School of Graduate Research, Central Queensland University, Australia

    *Corresponding author: Campbell Macgregor, Faculty of Health Education and Environment, Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology, Tauranga, New Zealand

Submission: July 14, 2021; Published: July 23, 2021

DOI: 10.31031/ACAM.2021.06.000641

ISSN: 2637-7802
Volume6 Issue4


Background: Traditionally, in New Zealand (NZ) and around the world, locally sourced materials have been used to solve local issues. In NZ, stone, bone or shells have been used as cutting tools with one traditional use has been to cut an umbilical cord. Pounamu is beautiful stone, significant to Māori as it links heaven and earth, the stars and water. Pounamu reuse cutting different umbilical cords at birth, must be made medically and culturally safe.

Methods: Two pieces of contaminated and recently used pounamu were selected to undergo full steam sterilization in accordance with the Australian/New Zealand standards. Findings - After the steam sterilization process, neither piece of pounamu showed any growth on any of the blood agar plates after 5 days.

Interpretation: Biologically, the environment where midwifery reusable instruments or customary implements have to be reprocessed to remove all soiling and sterilized. Full steam sterilization process was effective at removing viable microbes. Culturally, water is used traditionally to clean pounamu, placing in a non-traditional autoclave leads to several questions that the community needs to ask and answer. One is, how is the mauri of the cord cutting process affected when the pounamu is sterilized in a steam machine?

Keywords: Pounamu; Traditional practices; Sterilization; Culturally safe; Umbilical cord; Iho

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