In a national first, a kidney health education module has been developed specifically for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Workers who are on the front line of looking after people with renal conditions.
Pictured: Kidney Health Australia representatives and Nurses and Aboriginal Health Workers from NACCHO members Mamu, Mulungu, Wuchopperen, Guriny Yealamucka and Apunipima came together in May to workshop the new module : From Apunipima website
Developed by Kidney Health Australia with support from Apunipima’s Generalist Nurse (Renal) Rochelle Pitt (pictured second from the right in the front row), the module takes Health Workers through the symptoms and signs of kidney disease as well as the testing and referral processes.
‘There has never been an kidney education module specifically for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Workers who are on the front line of looking after Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who bear the greatest burden of chronic kidney disease,’ Ms Pitt said.
‘There is a real lack of awareness of kidney disease in the community as there are often no symptoms until it is at an advanced stage. Our job is to make sure Health Workers are making sure everyone who should be tested is tested. We have an epidemic of Type 2 Diabetes on Cape York and kidney failure is a common complication of diabetes. Infections associated with scabies is another cause, as is rheumatic fever. We call on everyone to test, test, test – catch things early and they are much easier to cope with.’
Kidney Health Australia’s Debbie Fortnum – National General Manager Education said, ‘We know that 70% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders who start dialysis, do so as a result of having diabetes.”
‘We plan to deliver this education module to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Workers all over Australia. Supporting those workers to get the message out locally can make a difference. We are thankful for the support of Apunipima and Rochelle Pit to help make this project reality.’
The module is nearly complete and will be finalised by July 2016 with a launch planned for the last quarter of 2016.