- Rethinking chronic pain and opioid use
- ACCHO leads hepatitis C elimination effort
- Yarn Up about COVID-19 vaccination
- Mental health unit for incarcerated women
- Help get your community Census-ready
- Network supports women’s reproductive choices
- Australia-first eye care nurse survey
- Remote PHC Manuals project update
- Job Alerts
- Save the Date
Rethinking chronic pain and opioid use
NACCHO and NPS MedicineWise have released two new videos in the Asking Painful Questions series. In the video trailer below, Chronic pain and opioids, Aboriginal man Steve talks about living with chronic pain 24/7 for 22 years and Dr Hester Wilson who is a GP and Addiction Specialist talks about the risks of using opioids.
In the second video trailer, Rethinking Opioids in Chronic Non-Cancer Pain, Pene Wood who is a Pharmacist at Wathaurong Aboriginal Co-operative Health Service talks about how opioids work, their side effects and changes to tolerance. She also talks about the new regulations around opioid use and how they will increase safety and protect patients, and how better pain management is important.
You can view NACCHO’s previous news item about the Asking painful questions video series here and access the Living with pain section of the NPS MedicineWise website here including the full video Asking Painful Questions – Yarning about managing pain, in which the above two trailer videos have been extracted.
ACCHO leads hepatitis C elimination effort
Bulgarr Ngaru Medical Aboriginal Corporation (BNMAC), Burnet Institute and the Australasian Society for HIV, Viral Hepatitis and Sexual Health Medicine (ASHM) are joining forces to help stop new infections and reduce severe illness due to hepatitis C infection among Aboriginal communities in northern NSW.
Aboriginal people represent around 8% of Australians living with chronic hepatitis C infection, while comprising only 3% of the population. They are four times more likely not to be included in hepatitis C surveillance data, which means many will miss out on effective treatments if they remain undiagnosed. There are also barriers that prevent testing, treatment and continuing with hepatitis care, including the need for trained staff who can engage in culturally sensitive ways, as well as the stigma felt by Aboriginal people with hepatitis C, which studies have shown reduces their intention to take up treatment.
The project brings together Bulgarr Ngaru’s extensive knowledge of Aboriginal communities in northern NSW; Burnet’s expertise in implementation research, surveillance, monitoring and evaluation; and ASHM’s track record in delivering clinical education in blood borne viruses including viral hepatitis.
To view BNMAC’s announcement in full here.
Yarn Up about COVID-19 vaccination
The Centre for Aboriginal Health is hosting a Yarn Up video event about COVID-19 vaccination which will be featured on the NSW Health Facebook page on Thursday 29 July 2021.
This is an opportunity for you, your colleagues or community members, to ask any questions about COVID-19 vaccination and have them answered by Aboriginal researchers and a Doctor with specialist knowledge in vaccination.
All and any questions you have about COVID-19 vaccination are welcomed – The Centre for Aboriginal Health will ensure these are answered with the most accurate and current information. As many questions as possible will be answered as part of the Yarn Up and by email if they can’t be answered during the event.
Some examples of questions you might want answers to include:
- How are the COVID-19 vaccinations made?
- Are the COVID-19 vaccines safe?
- Which is the best vaccine?
- Why should I get the COVID-19 vaccine?
- Where can I get the COVID-19 vaccine?
- What can I expect when I get my COVID-19 vaccination – what are the likely side effects ?
- Will the vaccination be mandatory?
- Do all Health Workers need to be vaccinated?
- Can I pass on COVID-19 to other people if I am vaccinated?
- What is my immunity after the first dose?
- Will we need booster shots each year?
Please send your questions through a video recorded on your phone or written, by email by 5:00 PM Monday 26 July.
Some tips on recording your video questions:
- Try and find a space with good light on your face and an interesting background that is not brighter than you.
- Film in horizontal “landscape” format.
- Sit the laptop or phone an arms-length away at around eye height.
- When you speak, look into the camera lens rather than at the screen.
- If you are asking multiple questions, make sure there is a gap in between each one.
Mental health unit for incarcerated women
Women incarcerated in WA have been given access to the first dedicated mental health unit inside the state’s prison system. A 29-bed unit opened on Friday last week at WA’s largest women’s jail, Bandyup Women’s Prison, to address the complex mental health needs of women behind bars.
Bandyup inmate Anna* told SBS News the facility was a step in the right direction. “It will make [people] feel happy about themselves, have a yarn and a conversation. It will change their mood swings on the day, to actually talk to someone about their problems,” she said.
The new $7 million facility – called Bindi Bindi, the Aboriginal Noongar word for butterfly – will be accessible to the 618 women currently in prison across the state, of which nearly half are Indigenous.
Anna, a Yamatji-Noongar woman, has become a support worker herself for other inmates at Bandyup. “I’ll be proud for them to change and to cope properly in prison with their mental health, just to see them not come back, to go the right way, in their life,”
To view the SBS News story in full click here.
Help get your community Census-ready
The 2021 Census is happening soon and ABS Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff have been working with communities across Australia to get Census-ready. The national advertising campaign began on 4 July. It includes materials and resources to encourage all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to complete the Census this August. Radio advertising will be translated into 19 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages.
It’s important that we continue to work together, to make sure all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are counted in the Census. The data from the 2021 Census will be more important than ever. It will provide valuable insights into how the pandemic has changed life in Australia.
A range of resources have been developed to support you in getting your community Census-ready, including:
- Indigenous stakeholder toolkit
- conversation guide
- information sheets and posters
- infographics and social media tiles
You can access all of these resources here.
You can also read and share stories about how Census data has benefited Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. For example, you can access the story of how Orange Aboriginal Medical Service used Census data to plan its new wellbeing centre, Walu-Win, for the local community here.
All the resources are available for you to download and share on your channels, as well as help you answer any questions from your community. You’ll get a hard copy pack of some resources in the mail shortly. Remote communities are counted by Census staff throughout July and August, and we’ve been active in many communities until recently.
The health and safety of the community and our staff will continue to be our highest priority. We’re closely monitoring the developing situation across multiple states and territories and will adapt our approach to suit local circumstances. Visit the Census website for the latest updates.
Network supports women’s reproductive choices
Are you a clinician who wants to support women’s reproductive choices?
We invite any GPs, practice nurses, and community pharmacists working in general practice/primary care to participate in the AusCAPPS Network.
A study is being led by Prof Danielle Mazza, Head of Department of General Practice at Monash University and SPHERE CRE, and funded by an NHMRC Partnership Grant. The aim of the study is to establish, implement and evaluate an innovative, multidisciplinary online network to increase the availability of long-acting reversible contraception and medical abortion services in Australian primary care. We will be doing this via PBS and MBs data comparing in the year before and the year after the intervention.
- Connect with like-minded peers.
- Engage in a safe space through discussions, case studies, ask an expert, webinars, and more.
- Provide consent for us to access your PBS and MBS data for the relevant long-acting reversible contraception and medical abortion numbers.
This project is in collaboration between Monash University, The university of British Columbia, The University of Sydney, The Centre of Excellence in Rural Sexual Health, La Trobe University, Family Planning NSW, Marie Stopes Australia and SPHERE CRE.
Australia-first eye care nurse survey
Australia’s nurses are being encouraged to take part in a research survey which will help shape the discussion about the future of nurse involvement in eye care. The survey, the first of its kind in Australia, also aims to create a snapshot of the eye care nurse workforce.
CERA researcher Heather Machin, a registered nurse, is leading the study which is supported by the Australian Ophthalmic Nurses Association. She says the study will gather key information about the kinds of settings nurses, caring for people with eye care needs, work in, where they are located and the different roles they perform. “We hope the data collected in this survey will contribute to policy discussions about the future of eye health services in Australia and the role of nurses in how they are delivered,’’ she says. “Currently there is a wealth of data about eye care professionals such as orthoptists, optometrists and ophthalmologists – but there is no data on nurses, despite being the largest healthcare provider group, and their critical role in many settings.
Remote PHC Manuals project update
The Remote Primary Health Care Manuals are currently being reviewed and updated. Monthly updates are being provided to health services and other organisations to keep them up-to-date throughout the review process. The July 2021 Project Update can be accessed here.
FYA identified roles for mob
The Foundation for Young Australians (FYA) has some deadly identified roles for mob to work on building the power of our young people, their campaigns and movements to heal injustice and transform the future! Young mob are strongly encouraged to apply for the following positions:
First Nations Director, full-time, $105k-113k pa. Location flexible.
The First Nations Director will have a leading role in putting our First Nations Strategy into practice, working closely with young First Nations mob and communities to build and unlock their power to transform the future. We’re looking for a campaigner, activist, advocate or organiser who has experience running projects with community. This person will be working across FYA including with the Advocacy and Campaigns team, Capacity Building and Strategic Projects on exciting initiatives.
2 x First Nations Program Officers, part time or full-time, 18 month contract, $65k-75k pa. Location flexible.
This is a learning and development opportunity – the Program Officers will be working closely with the First Nations team to coordinate campaigns, movement building and programs in community with young mob. We’re looking for someone passionate about building the power of young mob, with experience or interest in working with community on place-based and national projects, ideally someone who loves facilitating and doing training with mob. The Program Officers will be getting coaching, training and guidance and gain experience in campaigning, media, government relations, strategy, project management and more.
FYA is also looking for two exceptional individuals to join the Movement Building team as Training Lead, to deliver a nine-month long place based program in Melbourne’s West, and Wellbeing Project Lead, to create an environment of safety, nourishment, and care for young people leading hard, game-changing and important work to heal injustice and transform the future.
Last but not least, FYA’s social enterprise YLab is searching for a nurturing individual with a strong track record of empowering young people to deliver creative co-design projects to become its new Learning and Community Lead.
If you are interested in joining FYA, or know someone who would be a great fit for any of the roles, please direct them here. People can also email Roxanne Moore, Executive Director of FYA, who is keen to yarn with anyone interested in these positions here.
Applications close Wednesday 4 August at 6pm AEST.
World Hepatitis Day
On the 28 July each year, World Hepatitis Day brings the world together to raise awareness of the global burden of viral hepatitis and to influence real change. In Australia, the national World Hepatitis Day campaign is coordinated by Hepatitis Australia.
World Hepatitis Day is an opportunity to step up national and international efforts on hepatitis, encourage actions and engagement by individuals, partners and the public and highlight the need for a greater global response as outlined in the WHO’s Global hepatitis report of 2017. With a person dying every 30 seconds from a hepatitis related illness – even in the current COVID-19 crisis – we can’t wait to act on viral hepatitis. World Hepatitis Day 2021 in Australia will align with the global theme, which is ‘Hep Can’t Wait’.
For more information access the Australian World Hepatitis Day website here.
You can also read about an NACCHO member’s involvement in an initiative to boost hepatitis C elimination in regional Aboriginal settings and beyond in the Good News Story section of above.