- Giving birth better
- Most recent indicators of health report
- New rural health podcast Build ‘Em Up
- Sexual health conference abstracts DUE
- Mornington Island health & welfare crisis
- NT cancer treatment accessibility
- AOD treatment services in Australia
Giving birth better
One third of Australian women who give birth report their experience as traumatic, whether through physical injury or psychological effects. But many women suffer in silence. A recent SBS Insight episode, Giving Birth Better, explored the impacts of birth trauma and what can be done to ensure better outcomes for women and their families.
This episode of SBS Insight features Melanie Briggs, a descendant of the Dharawal and Gumbaynggirr people, and a senior midwife at Waminda, a women’s health and welfare service on the NSW South Coast on Yuin Country. In June 2020 Melanie became the first endorsed Aboriginal midwife in NSW and only the second in Australia.
Melanie provides antenatal care in a community setting and explained the importance of continuity of care in reducing stillbirth, premature birth, the requirement to be induced or have a caesarean section. Melanie also explained how intergenerational trauma can play out for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women in their reluctance to access mainstream services due to racism and fear their children will be removed. To view the SBS Insight Giving Birth Better episode click here.
Image in the feature tile from Wiyanga: A Guide for Mothers and Families.
Most recent indicators of health report
The most recent indicators of the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are documented in the Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet’s authoritative publication, the Overview of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health status 2020.
As part of the Health InfoNet’s commitment to knowledge exchange, other resources have been produced to access this information including a plain language infographic Summary version of the Overview’s key topics and PowerPoint slides based on the Summary.
New rural health podcast Build ‘Em Up
The National Rural Health Alliance (NRHA) has released a new podcast for rural health called Build ‘Em Up. The podcast showcases upbeat rural health stories from communities and towns around Australia. The monthly podcast raises the voice of great people building the health and wellbeing of local communities. Telling positive stories is part of journey of creating a level playing field where people in rural and remote Australia can access affordable, quality health care.
Episode 1 is an interview with Torres Strait Islander, Elsie Seriat. Elsie grew up on Thursday Island and returned home after an incredible journey that saw her run the New York Marathon in 2014. Elsie achieved this incredible success only six months after joining up with Rob de Castella’s Indigenous Marathon Foundation. Since completing several marathons and being awarded an OAM, Elsie continues to inspire her family, friends, community and people around Australia to get moving. To hear these great stories head to the Build ‘Em Up podcast here.
Sexual Health Conference abstracts DUE
The Joint Australasian HIV&AIDS and Sexual Health Conferences will be hosted in a virtual format between 6 to 9 September 2021.
There are multiple prizes available for those who submit abstracts to the conferences.
But you need to be QUICK, the abstract submission deadline is this Sunday 2 May 2021. To submit an abstract click here.
Mornington Island health & welfare crisis
The Mayor of Mornington Shire Council is calling for an independent audit of health and welfare services delivered to Mornington Island as he seeks urgent help to address a health and social welfare crisis affecting his community. Mayor Kyle Yanner met with Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships Craig Crawford to ask for help to address high rates of chronic disease, death, poverty and crime being experienced by his community. He said the State Government was taking his calls for an independent audit seriously with Minister Crawford agreeing to strongly advocate on council’s behalf.
Current data for the Shire shows that 40% of the 634 First Nation patients of the island’s major health provider, Gidgee Health, are suffering from chronic disease, with many suffering from two or more serious health issues including diabetes, heart disease, mental health and renal impairment. The death rate for Mornington Shire was 40% higher than the average for Queensland in 2019, with residents dying younger than non-indigenous Queenslanders. “It is my responsibility to ensure that health and welfare services delivered to my community on Mornington Island are working successfully. When they are not, things must change,” Cr Yanner said.
To view the full The North West Star article click here.
NT cancer treatment accessibility
A recent study, Accessibility of cancer treatment services for Indigenous Australians in the Northern Territory: perspectives of patients and care providers has looked at the reasons for the poorer cancer outcomes of Indigenous Australians in Australia’s NT compared with their non-Indigenous counterparts. The study found accessibility of health care is a multidimensional construct, including physical, logistical, psychosocial and cultural dimensions and concluded that while previous research has identified specific areas of reduced access to CTS for Indigenous Australians, the higher burden of cancer borne by Indigenous Australians warrants a more comprehensive understanding of access to CTS in the NT. The purpose of the study was to explore and map the accessibility of CTS for Indigenous Australians in the NT and to identify key access barriers.
To view the research article in full click here.
AOD treatment services in Australia
Alcohol is the most common drug of concern for clients of publicly funded specialist alcohol and other drug treatment services, according to a new report by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW). The report, Alcohol and other drug treatment services in Australia 2018–19, provides information on just under 220,000 closed treatment episodes provided to an estimated 137,000 clients of publicly funded specialist alcohol and other drug treatment services.
‘Alcohol was the principal drug of concern in 36% of treatment episodes. It was the main or an additional drug of concern in 48% of cases,’ said AIHW spokesperson Dr. Gabrielle Phillips. ‘In one-third (33%) of treatment episodes where alcohol was the principal drug of concern, the client also reported other drugs of concern—most commonly cannabis or nicotine.’ While alcohol remains the number one drug for which Australians seek help, specialist treatment for amphetamine use has grown over the past decade.
To view the AIHW AOD treatment services in Australia: key findings webpage click here.