Story: Primary health care

Missionary care

Missionary care

Early Christian missionaries cared for the physical health of Māori as well as their souls. Jane Williams kept a supply of medicines which she administered to members of her flock when necessary. On 18 May 1840 she wrote in her diary: 'I have great cause for gratitude to our Heavenly Father having been so much better today as to be able to attend to my regular duties. Many applicants for medicine to whom I attended as far as they come within the compass of my very small portion of skill.'

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Alexander Turnbull Library
Reference: 1/2-029585; F

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

Source: Frances Porter, ed., The Turanga journals 1840–1850. Letters and journals of William and Jane Williams, missionaries to Poverty Bay. Price Milburn for Victoria University Press: Wellington, 1974, p. 109.

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How to cite this page:

Michael Belgrave, 'Primary health care - Early primary health care, mid-19th century', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 25 July 2024)

Story by Michael Belgrave, published 5 May 2011, reviewed & revised 4 Apr 2019