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Source: New Zealand Ministry of Health

Sudden Unexpected Death in Infancy (SUDI) is the leading cause of preventable mortality in New Zealand infants. Māori and Pacific infants have consistently higher rates of SUDI compared to non-Māori and non-Pacific infants.

SUDI is the unexpected death of an infant under one year of age. SUDI is a collective term that is used when the death is initially unexplained but may be found to be caused by high-risk conditions after extensive investigations.

The Ministry commissioned research in 2020 to better understand the reasons behind the number of babies dying from SUDI and identify improvements to the Ministry-led National SUDI Prevention Programme.

The analysis of coronial SUDI Liaison Reports from Sept 2018 to June 2020 report (SUDI Report) sets out the background and findings from an analysis of 64 infant deaths and includes recommended multi-level actions.

After receiving and reviewing the report, the Ministry formed a SUDI prevention Expert Advisory Group (EAG) to develop recommendations for change, based on data and information presented in the SUDI Report.

In August 2021 the EAG delivered a report to the Ministry with recommendations for a way forward, SUDI Prevention in New Zealand: The Case for Hauora – a wellbeing approach.