- Children aged 12–15 to get Pfizer vaccine
- Nursing shortage due to border restrictions
- Census data supporting mums and bubs program
- Chronic disease mapped across Australia
- Program to increase number of surgeons
- Community Liaison Officers to improve SEWB
- New process for job advertising
Children aged 12–15 to get Pfizer vaccine
In a statement from the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI), it is now recommended that the following groups of children among those aged 12–15 years be prioritised for vaccination using the Pfizer vaccine:
- children with specified medical conditions that increase their risk of severe COVID-19
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children aged 12–15 years
- all children aged 12–15 years in remote communities, as part of broader community outreach vaccination programs that provide vaccines for all ages (≥12 years).
ATAGI will make recommendations to Government for use in all other children in the 12–15 years age group within the coming months, following review of emerging information.
You can read more about this statement on the Australian Government Department of Health website here.
Nursing shortage due to border restrictions
At least 18 remote communities across the NT are experiencing a shortage of nursing services due to COVID-19 international and interstate border restrictions.
The “movement” of nurses into remote areas has “been limited over time”, according to John Wakerman from the Menzies School of Health Research.
Chief executive of Purple House Sarah Brown said prior to the pandemic, and throughout the changing lockdowns, she planned to have nurses travel to remote communities in the NT from interstate, but that plan had been delayed.
She said the priority to deliver COVID-19 vaccinations and testing, as well as aged care services across Australia, had put the “whole system under enormous pressure”, but she remained optimistic about attracting more nurses to Central Australia.
“If we could actually have a bit of a plan to move some of these visa applications along and find a safe way to get some nurses in the country that would take a lot of pressure off the whole system,” she said.
“If we can do it for pop stars and tennis champions maybe there’s a way we could do it for some nurses too.”
You can read the story in the ABC News here.
Census data supporting mums and bubs program
The Institute of Urban Indigenous Health uses Census data to inform expansion of its successful Birthing in our Communities program, which is delivering outstanding results for mums and bubs in South East Queensland.
The program also hosts a community day every Friday. It’s a chance for mums, their family, and their community support network to come together to celebrate the family unit and learn from visiting specialists like dieticians and psychologists.
Queensland mum Mackapilly said it’s been a great opportunity to learn and be part of a community of mums and bubs.
“I am so grateful for playgroup and community days. It was been useful to connect with other mums and share advice. We feel like we are at home, like we are a family,” Mackapilly said.
Mackapilly would love to see this program expand to other areas and communities to help more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mums and bubs.
“Now that I know Census data has helped to create and expand the Birthing in our Communities program, I’ll be telling other mums to make sure they fill out the Census because I can see how it can help show what community services are needed,” said Mackapilly.
Other important dates on the calendar provide opportunities for mums and families to come together. The Birthing in our Communities program is getting ready to host a COVID-safe celebration and playgroup for National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day on 4 August.
You can read the media release here.
For more information call 1800 512 441 or visit the Australian Bureau of Statistics Census website with information for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities here.
Chronic disease mapped across Australia
The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) has released new geographical data, showing where Australia’s most common chronic diseases are more prevalent.
Cardiovascular disease, diabetes and chronic kidney disease are together responsible for the country’s highest ‘burden of disease’ – the years of healthy life lost to a disease. They account for 14%, 2.2% and 1.4% of the burden of disease, respectively.
While common, these diseases are not evenly distributed. For instance, 6.2% of Australian adults report having heart, stroke and vascular disease, but for Northern Territorians the rate is only 1.8%. Conversely, 7.4% of adults in the NT have type 2 diabetes, compared to 5.9% of the national adult population.
Areas with greater socioeconomic disadvantage have higher rates of disease when age is taken into account.
Regional and remote areas, and places with high proportions of Indigenous Australians, also had worse health profiles when adjusted for age.
The AIHW has released this data in a series of dashboards on their website, where you can examine your own state or suburb’s health profile.
Program to increase number of surgeons
The Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) is proud to launch its Indigenous Surgical Pathway Program Australia to try and increase the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander surgeons in the medical workforce.
The program aims to reduce the professional health workforce inequity faced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Australia.
While there are over 83,000 doctors registered to practice in Australia, fewer than 400 are Indigenous. This is despite over 760,000 people in Australia identifying as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander.
“In Australia and NZ we have a severe shortage of Indigenous surgeons and we need to do everything we can to change this disproportionate under-representation,” said Dr Sally Langley, RACS President.
“The College is committed to addressing this health discrepancy and the program will support this by encouraging and actively recruiting medical students and recent graduates into surgery.”
You can read the media release by RACS here.
Community Liaison Officers to improve SEWB
In February 2021, the WA Government announced a further $17.6 million commitment to establish a three year Social and Emotional Wellbeing Model of Service pilot at five Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Service (ACCHS) sites.
The Model is part of their commitment to address and reduce Aboriginal suicide rates through the establishment of the newly created Aboriginal Community Liaison Officer (CLO) positions across the State.
Based at Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations, the CLOs will work with their respective communities and support the implementation of the region-specific Aboriginal suicide prevention plans.
The region-specific plans form part of the implementation of the Western Australian Suicide Prevention Framework 2021-2025 and include culturally informed social and emotional wellbeing initiatives designed by and for Aboriginal people.
You can read the media statement by the Government of Western Australia here.
New process for job advertising
NACCHO have introduced a new system for the advertising of job adverts via the NACCHO website and you can find the sector job listings here.
Click here to go to the NACCHO website where you can complete a form with job vacancy details – it will then be approved for posting and go live on the NACCHO website.