Aboriginal Health #CoronaVirus News and Resources Alert No 63 : May 15 #KeepOurMobSafe #OurJobProtectOurMob : The @AMAPresident is calling for extra targeted health policy support to help our mob get through the COVID-19 pandemic

“The $58 million retrieval package announced by Minister Wyatt was a great start to acknowledge the unique health service needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in remote communities, but more is needed.

Specialised Indigenous health services and programs that respond to the needs of the majority of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who live in cities and towns must be made a priority and properly funded to provide greater protections coming out of the pandemic,”

AMA President, Dr Tony Bartone, said today that the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples must be a high priority in national COVID-19 recovery measures, given their increased vulnerability due to already higher rates of chronic diseases.

” Five online training modules are being developed to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health professionals in responding to cases of COVID-19 and support public health efforts to manage outbreaks in remote communities.

The first two modules, ‘Introduction to COVID-19’, and ‘Contact Tracing in Remote Communities’, are now available online.

These modules were developed in partnership with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Group on COVID-19 ” 

See Department of Health news Part 2 Below for the new online training modules for health professionals and resources

“The AMA has strongly welcomed existing measures to help combat COVID-19 in Australia, but they are nowhere near enough to reduce the risks for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples across Australia,” Dr Bartone said.

“Further targeted approaches for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are needed.

“The AMA recommends a dedicated pool of funding for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and organisations to draw on for specified purposes including the procurement of personal protective equipment (PPE), point-of-care tests, staffing and consumables, capital expenditure, isolation and quarantine facilities, and satellite and outreach services to address current service gaps.

“Importantly, the amount of funds allocated for this funding pool should be considered on a needs-basis.

“Given Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples comprise three per cent of the total population, and the burden of disease is 2.3 times higher than non-Indigenous Australians, it is reasonable for a benchmark amount of around seven per cent of total COVID-19 health funding be earmarked Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

“Testing is absolutely critical, and it must be an urgent priority to ensure that every Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health service is provided with testing kits, the associated consumables, and the necessary training.

 

Part 2 : Information for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities on coronavirus (COVID-19)

From HERE

New online training modules for health professionals

Five online training modules are being developed to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health professionals in responding to cases of COVID-19 and support public health efforts to manage outbreaks in remote communities.

The first two modules, ‘Introduction to COVID-19’, and ‘Contact Tracing in Remote Communities’, are now available online.

These modules were developed in partnership with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Group on COVID-19.

Resources toolkit for health professionals

Our amazing health workers are doing an incredible job keeping our communities COVIDSafe, and we all owe them a huge amount of gratitude. Let’s make sure we are supporting our health workers as much as possible. The more we help them, the more they can help us.

The teams at CATSINaM, AIDA, IAHA and NATSIHWA have developed a COVID19 resource toolkit for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health professionals.

The pack includes tips and information to help health workers care for themselves, as well as resources to share in community.

Don’t skip your flu shot – protect you and your family from flu

You can share this social media graphic or video to let others in the community know how important it is to get the flu shot.

Professor Tom Calma AO – Get your flu shot
Keep our families safe from violence

Tough times don’t excuse tougher times at home, even in a crisis. There’s no place for abuse or domestic violence.

Look out for people in our communities who may be at risk by:

  • keeping in contact with people
  • checking in to make sure they are OK
  • making sure they don’t feel like they are completely alone and without any support.

If you are worried about your immediate safety, contact 000. For confidential advice and counselling contact 1800 RESPECT.

Three stage plan to ease restrictions and stay COVID safe

The Prime Minister has outlined a 3-step plan to provide a pathway for states and territories to move toward COVIDSafe communities. This plan involves careful steps to ease restrictions while keeping everyone safe and containing the spread of the virus.

Some of the restrictions relating to where we can go in public and how many people we can gather with have already begun to be eased.

The changes are different in each state and territory, so make sure you stay up to date with the latest information on restrictions for your area. You can visit Australia.gov.au for the latest advice, and links to each state and territory.

Biosecurity restrictions remain in place to stop people travelling into remote communities. These restrictions were put in place to protect remote residents especially Elders. It is still very important to stop the virus spreading from cities and towns into remote communities. Information on biosecurity measures in place in remote communities is available at niaa.gov.au.

Even though some restrictions are being eased, we need to keep practising physical distancing (two big steps) and good hygiene to stop the virus from spreading in our homes, workplaces and communities. It is important to remember, if shopping centres or public spaces are overcrowded, making it difficult to practise social distancing guidelines, don’t enter the space. Come back at a time when it is not as busy or crowded. And most importantly of all, stay home if you are have cold or flu symptoms, and get tested for coronavirus.

Sending your kids back to school

Many students will start returning to school and classrooms as the coronavirus restrictions start to ease.

The Chief Medical Officer supported by a team of medical professionals has advised it is safe for children to be at school. This is because levels of the virus have remained low for several weeks in a row and children are at lower risk than adults from this virus.

Information about how schools will operate during this time will be provided by your school. Speak to your local school principal, teacher, or Aboriginal Education officers about any worries you might have.

Talking with kids about Coronavirus

It’s completely normal to be feeling worried and stressed at the moment. It is important to remember that our kids might also be feeling the same.

Their lives have had some big changes and they will be watching adults closely and picking up on moods and behaviours. Talk to kids about how they are feeling, it can help them to feel better too.

Here’s a few tips for talking with young people:

  • Pick your time and place carefully. Think about the best time to chat and in an environment where your child will feel relaxed and comfortable to talk freely. Choose a time when you can give them your full attention.
  • Let them know it’s normal to feel scared or confused about things happening at the moment. Talk in a calm and reassuring tone.
  • Ask questions to find out what your kids already know about the virus. This also helps to find out if they are hearing the wrong information.
  • Acknowledge their feelings and don’t minimise their concerns.
  • Make sure to explain to them that coronavirus has nothing to do with how someone looks or where they are from. Remind them that bullying is wrong.
  • Talk about the strength and connection to culture that we can draw on during this time.
  • Share stories about people who are working hard to keep our community safe, doing this will reassure them and it will comfort them to know that people are taking action.

It’s also important to look after yourself. The better you are coping the more you can help others. If you are feeling worried or upset, take time for yourself and reach out to others in the community for support.

Remind young people that you care, and you’re there for a chat at any time. Keep checking in and make it an ongoing conversation. Visit the Raising Children’s Network for more information.

NACCHO welcomes feedback/comment:Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s