- Clinics swamped needing more resourcing and support
- Three-day lockdown for Greater Darwin and Katherine
- Mental health campaign to empower young mob
- Boost to deliver better health care
- Updates to medicines labelling
- Queensland’s new plan for Closing the Gap
- Knowledge translation between Elders and young men
- New process for job advertising
Clinics swamped needing more resourcing and support
With COVID-19 reaching western NSW, health clinics and Aboriginal health experts are working overtime to protect Aboriginal communities.
After ordering a seven-day statewide lockdown effective as of Saturday evening, NSW Health recorded on Monday a total 478 cases and eight deaths overnight. This follows the week-long lockdown announced on Wednesday for the Walgett Shire area, along with the Brewarrina, Coonamble, Bogan, Narromine, Warren and Gilgandra Shires. Active cases of COVID-19 have now been confirmed in Dubbo, Walgett, Bathurst and Orange.
Walgett’s Dharriwaa Elders Group released a statement calling for more resourcing and support for the community.
“Many of our Elders and others in Walgett experience health and social issues that make them vulnerable to contracting COVID-19. The impact on our community could be devastating,” said the statement.
NACCHO is working to increase vaccination capacity to communities that are most in need. With the vast majority of cases in NSW being people under 40, NACCHO medical advisor Dr Jason Agostino said it’s important for everyone to get vaccinated as soon as they can.
“The vaccine is now available for all [Indigenous] people 12-years and over. The best strategy is to be vaccinating all ages right now … younger people are getting the virus and spreading it,” he said.
You can read the article in the National Indigenous Times here.
Three-day lockdown for Greater Darwin and Katherine
The Northern Territory government yesterday implemented a snap three-day lockdown for Greater Darwin and Katherine after a man in his 30s returned a positive result for what authorities fear could be the highly contagious Delta variant. The man spent several days in Darwin before driving to Katherine on Sunday, visiting the town’s busy Woolworths and checking into the Knotts Crossing resort.
The Aboriginal Medical Services Alliance of the NT (AMSANT) said it was worried about the potential spread of the virus, given the high rates of chronic illness and overcrowding in the region.
“We are very concerned about the deadliness and the seriousness of this Delta strain. If it gets into our communities, it’ll have a serious impact and threaten a number of our population and communities,” AMSANT CEO John Paterson said.
The Northern Land Council (NLC) chairman Samuel Bush-Blanasi urged people to reduce the potential spread of COVID-19 during the lockdown period.
“If you don’t need to travel, don’t. Stay at home in your community or on your homeland with your family. If you have the opportunity to get vaccinated then get it done,” Mr Bush-Blanasi said.
You can read the article by the ABC News here.
Mental health campaign to empower young mob
Headspace has launched a suite of new resources for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people, empowering them to take charge of their social and emotional wellbeing.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples aged 24 and under are three times more likely than other young people to die by suicide. Responding to this urgent need for support, the ‘Take a Step’ campaign encourages Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people to recognise the signs that something’s not right – and provides small, practical steps towards feeling better.
The materials have been developed in partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community members from across Australia, including a reference group of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people with lived experience of mental ill-health.
‘Take a Step’ television and radio advertisements will broadcast nationally and in select cinemas. A suite of print and online resources for young people, and for family and friends with a young person in their lives, are also available.
‘Take a Step’ is an initiative of headspace and funded by the Department of Health and Minister for Indigenous Australians.
Read the headspace media release here.
To learn more and to view available resources visit the headspace website here.
Boost to deliver better health care
Researchers from The University of Western Australia have been awarded more than $3 million in State Government funding to advance health innovation, including the development of future bacterial therapeutics, improving the physical health of people with mental illness and implementing clinical communication in Aboriginal health care.
WA State Health Minister Roger Cook announced the WA Near-miss Awards to 27 researchers across science, health and medicine to pursue knowledge that could improve the way healthcare is delivered in WA. The WA Near-miss Awards are granted to emerging researchers who narrowly missed out on State Funding to transform their National Health and Medical Research Council near-miss application into a future grant success.
Dr Ivan Lin from UWA’s Western Australian Centre for Rural Health received a Near-Miss award for his project ‘Yarn with Me’ that aims to implement Clinical Yarning Communication in Aboriginal Health Care. Clinical yarning is a patient-centred approach that marries Aboriginal cultural communication preferences with biomedical understandings of health and disease to deliver better health care to Aboriginal people.
You can read the news article on the University of Western Australia website here.
Updates to medicines labelling
Consumers need a good understanding of how and when to take a medicine. This can help them to use their medicines safely and help achieve the best possible health outcomes. Misunderstanding of how to use medicines can lead to unintentional misuse, which may result in harm or adverse health outcomes.
The design and content of information on a medicine label influences how well the consumer understands the information, especially for consumers with low health literacy. Standardised and consistent presentation of medicine-related information on dispensed medicine labels has the potential to improve health outcomes.
This standard is for all health professionals who dispense medicines, including pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, nurse practitioners, general practitioners, optometrists and dentists. It is based on best practice and evidence-based principles, recommendations published by the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (the Commission)1, and further informed by user testing and hospital evaluation of prototype labels, and stakeholder consultation.
Download the National standard for labelling dispensed medicines by the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care here.
Queensland’s new plan for Closing the Gap
Queensland has launched its first Closing the Gap Implementation plan — a key milestone in nationwide efforts to Close the Gap in life outcomes between Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous peoples. Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships Craig Crawford said the plan continues the Palaszczuk Government’s reframing of the relationship with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
“We are working together with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples – doing things with people and not to them – to deliver real change. We have partnered with Queensland’s peak community-controlled organisations to develop the plan, which will be updated annually, to reflect the experiences and ambitions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Queenslanders,” Mr Crawford said.
You can read the Queensland Government media release here.
View the Queensland Closing the Gap Implementation Plan here.
Knowledge translation between Elders and young men
In Western Australia and Queensland, Aboriginal Elders have been sharing cultural knowledges with young men in research exploring their strengths, experiences and aspirations.
The Valuing Young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Men project was funded by the Lowitja Institute to support intergenerational knowledge exchange. It produced videos that demonstrate the power of yarning and connecting to Country within research.
“When we put young fellas through the law, we don’t sit them down in a workshop, talk at them or run them through a classroom learning module. We take them out and get them to follow the Jina…to walk, use their feet to travel the footprints of the old people. We get them to learn by following the steps, singing the old songs, being with their family and being on Ngurra or Country,” says Ngarluma Elder Peter Jeffries.
You can read the full article by Croakey Health Media here and watch one of the videos below.
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.