Aboriginal Health #CoronaVirus News and Resources Alert No 64 : May 18 #KeepOurMobSafe #OurJobProtectOurMob : With many #COVID19 restrictions lifted will it be bumpy ride on our road to recovery. Plus @June_Oscar ACCHO’s Gold Star response.

1. June Oscar says our NACCHO/ACCHO  COVID-19 response campaign will be remembered as a gold standard for public health messaging.

2. In the Kimberley it became clear that ACCHO’s were ahead of the mainstream health sector responding to COVID-19.

3. NACCHO PHD Dr Jason Agostino says the Queensland Government is putting remote communities at risk stalling rapid Coronavirus testing machines.

4.Minister Greg Hunt funds ATSI mental health with $3.5 million extra funds.

5.Our CEO Pat Turner appearance at the DRUM ABC TV.

6.Voices from the Bush – How the lock down affects remote NT Indigenous communities differently.

7.How will COVID-19 restrictions be eased back in all States and Territories ?

8.NACCHO Chair Donnella Mills leads by example having her flu injection at Wuchopperen ACCHO Cairns.

9. John Paterson CEO AMSANT interview on how NT remote communities prepare to open after restrictions.

10.Federal Government information for remote communities to support the extension of biosecurity measures.

1.June Oscar says our NACCHO/ACCHO  COVID-19 response campaign will be remembered as a gold standard for public health messaging.

” Thanks to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations such as Kimberley Aboriginal Medical Services, Danila Dilba Health Service and many others, our people have returned to communities and to camps on country, quickly and en masse.

This has been a huge peacetime coordination effort, and we have mobilised quietly and efficiently to move thousands of people out of harm’s way.

Indigenous health services and peak bodies like the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation have done an incredible job of getting COVID-19- related messages to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, in multiple locations and different community languages.

In years ahead, I am certain that Australia will view these campaigns as the gold star standard for public health messaging. “

June Oscar is Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner and Co-Chair of the Close the Gap Campaign.

Read more HERE

2. In the Kimberley it became clear that ACCHO’s were ahead of the mainstream health sector responding to COVID-19.

It became clear early in the pandemic that Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations (ACCHOs) were ahead of the mainstream health sector in responding to communities’ concerns with relevant local messaging and an urgency motivated by a lived and historic knowledge of the impact of infectious diseases.

In the remote Western Australian town of Broome, Kimberley Aboriginal Medical Services (KAMS) has developed a reputation as a source of reliable information for all local residents, according to chief operating officer Rob McPhee. The Kimberley has had 18 Covid-19 cases, all of whom have recovered, he adds.” 

Read more HERE

3. NACCHO PHO Dr Jason Agostino says the Queensland Government is putting remote communities at risk stalling rapid Coronavirus testing machines.

GP and epidemiologist Jason Agostino, the medical adviser for the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation, said not allowing the testing machines in Queensland was a “step backwards” that put communities at risk.

“The Public Health Laboratory Network, which is the main organisation in Australia which oversees safety, says if people have received the appropriate training and have personal protective equipment, the machines are safe to use,” he said.

“That’s the position that every other jurisdiction has taken.”

Dr Agostino said the potential for a health professional operating the machine to contract COVID-19 was minimal, compared to the risk posed by an infected person towards the community while they awaited results.

Read more HERE

4. Minister Greg Hunt funds ATSI mental health with $3.5 million extra funds

Aboriginal and Torres Straits Islander communities, especially those in remote areas, experienced complete lockdown and have been impacted by reduced access to mental health and wellbeing services, education and employment opportunities. $3.5 million will be provided to PHNs to work with local communities to bolster existing services as restrictions are lifted.

Read more HERE

NATIONAL MENTAL HEALTH AND WELLBEING PANDEMIC RESPONSE PLAN (FED)

5. Our CEO Pat Turner appearance at the DRUM ABC TV.

 

6.Voices from the Bush – How the lock down affects remote NT Indigenous communities differently.

What does self-isolation mean when you live in one of Australia’s most remote Aboriginal communities? What does social distancing mean when the average household holds 12-15 people? How do you think through viral vulnerability when people in your community already die too young and too frequently?

These are just a few of the questions that might be asked of Aboriginal people living in remote parts of Australia as the COVID-19 pandemic swirls around them and other Aboriginal communities across the nation.

Read more HERE

7.How will COVID-19 restrictions be eased back in all States and Territories ?

Part 2

8. NACCHO Chair Donnella Mills leads by example having her flu injection at Wuchopperen ACCHO Cairns.

9. John Paterson CEO AMSANT interview on how NT remote communities prepare to open after restrictions.

Listen to interview HERE

10. Federal Government information for remote communities to support the extension of biosecurity measures.

Key messages:

·      Coronavirus has spread across the world and made many people sick.

·      It’s made some of our mob in the cities sick too.

·      The good news is we have been successful keeping the virus out of our remote communities.

·      We’re doing a good job protecting our mob, our Elders and our culture from this virus.

·      But we need to keep going.

·      Some communities are part of the designated areas which limit people from entering communities without self-isolating. This was done to stop people including tourists from bringing the virus into communities, and so far this has worked.

·      The government and health leaders have designed a framework to help governments and communities make decisions about when to lift these restrictions, in a way that will keep people, families and communities safe. 

·      If coronavirus gets into our remote communities, it will be hard to get rid of. It will hurt our people and could make our Elders very sick.

·      That’s why we need to stay strong and deadly and keep following the rules. to keep beating this virus and keep our mob safe.

·      The restrictions will now stay in place until September, unless communities and governments agree to lift them earlier. Some communities are working with the government on how to lift the restrictions while keeping communities safe.

·      The rules are different in each state and territory. Make sure you stay up to date with the latest announcements at Australia.gov.au which also has links to state and territory websites. niaa.gov.au has further information about the biosecurity restrictions in place.

·      Even though the new changes are difficult, we have to stay strong and keep doing what’s right, protecting the health of all our mob. 

·      Together, we can keep our mob and communities COVIDSafe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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