NACCHO Aboriginal Health News: Tens of thousands train in contact tracing for the bush – online modules, developed by the Australian National University (ANU)

Tens of thousands train in contact tracing for the bush

More than 50,000 people have accessed specialised pandemic training for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health workers and health practitioners to help protect remote Australian communities from coronavirus outbreaks.

The five online modules, developed by a team at the Australian National University (ANU), include training on how to conduct contact tracing within remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.  The training was developed following a request from the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) and the Australian Government.

“Overcrowding in housing and poor condition of houses will mean that COVID-19 spreads extremely quickly in these communities. To keep communities safe, we must act quickly and to do that we need to use local Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people who have the cultural knowledge and skills to isolate cases and find contacts,” Ms Alyson Wright, an epidemiologist from the ANU Research School of Population Health who co-ordinated the development of the modules, said. 

“The Aboriginal Community Controlled Sector has done a lot of work in stopping the virus. This training is a part of building capability of Aboriginal Health Workers and practitioners to keep these communities stay safe,” Ms Wright said.

Dawn Casey, Deputy CEO NACCHO said, “Aboriginal Health Workers have been invaluable in managing previous outbreaks in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

“We need to use their expertise in contact tracing for COVID-19, and these training modules give them the information to do this effectively and safely.

“We need public health units across Australia to draw on the expertise within our ACCHOs to manage outbreaks rapidly and in a culturally safe way.”

The training modules includes an introduction to COVID-19 epidemiology, contact tracing, interviewing, the use of PPE in remote communities and data management.

They can be found online here:

To read the full press release click here.

AMA President, Dr Omar Khorshid welcomes new aged care sector funding

New Federal Government funding announced today will help the chronically-underfunded aged care sector to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic, but much more will need to be done to address the long-term issues, AMA President, Dr Omar Khorshid, said.

Almost 70 per cent of all COVID-19 deaths in Australia relate to people in residential aged care, one of the highest rates in the world. “The AMA welcomes the additional $563.3 million to extend support for the aged care sector’s response to COVID-19,” Dr Khorshid said.

“The decades-old issues in aged care have only been amplified by the pandemic, and have resulted in unnecessary deaths of our oldest and most vulnerable Australians.

“The announcement of a national plan to tackle COVID-19 in aged care was welcome. However, plans mean nothing without adequate resources to carry them out.

“The aged care and health systems must be provided with additional supports and funding to get through the pandemic.”

Read the full media release here.

Source: Aged Care Online

CATSINaM appoints new CEO

The Congress of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nurses and Midwives (CATSINaM) today announce the appointment of a new Chief Executive Officer, Professor Roianne West. CATSINaM Chairperson, Marni Tuala welcomed Professor West and said “The Board and I are excited about the future of our organisation and the work we will do together. We truly believe we have secured the country’s best to lead CATSINaM”. Professor Roianne West is a Kalkadunga and Djaku-nde woman hailing from her grandmother’s ancestral lands near Mount Isa giving her an excellent appreciation of challenges facing our members in rural, remote and regional settings.

To read the full media release click here.

Photo of Professor Roainne West - new CATSINaM

Image source; Pathways to Postgraduate Study for Indigenous Australian Students website.

Diabetes during pregnancy and birth-weight trends

The August edition of the Diabetes Newsletter from the Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet (HealthInfoNet) is out in its new avatar.  One of the programs featured in the newsletter was on:

To view the complete newsletter click here.

Remote Vocational Training Scheme (RVTS) GP Fellowship Training

Apply Now: 31 August – 13 September 2020

RVTS is an established training provider with 20 years’ experience delivering GP Fellowship Training across Australia. Our AMS training stream now in its 7th year offers an annual intake of 10 doctors to train towards Fellowship qualifications of the RACGP and/or ACRRM.

RVTS is fully funded by the Australian Government – and there’s no cost to apply!

Check your eligibility and apply now click here.

World Suicide Prevention Day goes virtual

This World Suicide Prevention Day, Lifeline will call on Australians to send the clearest signal yet to those who are struggling, that they are not alone. Annual Out of the Shadows events goes virtual in a show of support for those bereaved by suicide and those who are struggling with their own mental health.

Every year, Lifeline centres across the nation bring their communities together to observe World Suicide Prevention Day through Lifeline’s Out of the Shadows events. Local community walks traditionally take place at sunrise and create a safe place of acceptance to mourn loved ones lost to suicide and reduce stigma by bringing suicide out of the shadows and into the light. However, this year with physical distancing restrictions created by COVID-19, Out of the Shadows will be providing opportunities for connection virtually.

To know more click here.

World Suicide Prevention Day & orange & yellow ribbon cross over point hands

Changes to MBS item numbers for cardiac imaging services

Make sure you know the right item numbers to use when you claim cardiac imaging services for your patients.

To read the latest news for health professionals for the month of September from Services Australia visit the health professionals section of the Services Australia website.