- COVID’s serious, we need to make that clear
- PHC decision-making transfers to ACCHO
- Help grow the care and support network
- ImpaRa program wins mental health award
- COVID-19 resources for Aboriginal communities
- Calls for heart health funding
- Updated hepatitis/liver disease resources
- Indigenous Justice Research Program established
- Baby Coming You Ready?
- New process for job advertising
- Save the Date
COVID’s serious, we need to make that clear
NACCHO Medical Advisor, Dr Jason Agonisto was recently interviewed on SBS Viceland The Point where he discussed COVID-19 in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
In NSW vaccination rates have passed 70% with at least one dose, that’s still a lot of people not fully vaccinated, and they’re the people at highest risk of catching COVID-19 and spreading it through the community as we open up.
It’s just past two months since the first case in Walgett – in that two months over 4,000 people have contracted COVID-19 and 500 have ended up in hospital, 50 have been in ICU and there have been nine deaths. It’s happened really quickly. It’s been spreading mainly amongst people who are unvaccinated.
Only 37% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people over 12 are fully vaccinated across the nation., which is quite low compared to the non-indigenous community. The most attention needs to go to the population under 40 as our communities are young – the average age is something like 23 and that group still hasn’t got very high vaccination rates. So I think it’s really clear, really important to make clear to that group that COVID-19 is serious.
In adults under the age of 40, one in eight end up in hospital and a lot end up in ICU. If you’re vaccinated, you stop yourself getting it and you stop spreading it into the community. It’s that age group that will be important. It’s about getting messages that cut through to them and encourage them and their kids to get vaccinated.
To view the interview with Dr Jason Agostino in full click by clicking on this link – the interview begins at 16:38:30 of S2021 E24: Episode 24.
PHC decision-making transfers to ACCHO
Minister for Health, Natasha Fyles, says local decision making for primary health care in the West Arnhem Land community of Minjilang has transferred from NT Health to an Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation – Red Lily. Red Lily assumed operations of the Primary Health Care Clinic on 1 July 2021 and the community is now celebrating the milestone with a handover ceremony following a period of transition.
The Red Lily Health board consists of representatives from areas including Minjilang, Warruwi, Gunbalanya, Jabiru and surrounding homelands. NT Health has worked with the Commonwealth Government and Primary Health Network to support the transition and will continue to provide support.
To view Minister Fyles’ media release click here.
Help grow the care and support workforce
A Life Changing Life, the Australian Government’s national campaign to support growth in the care and support workforce, has been launched nationally on television, digital and social channels and radio.
The campaign aims to raise awareness of the employment opportunities across aged care, disability and veterans’ support – and encourage consideration and take-up among potential workers.
You can help encourage mob to consider a role in the care and support sector by sharing these resources with your network.
To access more detailed information about the campaign and resources click here.
ImpaRA program wins mental health award
The ImpaRa program has won the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander QLD Mental Health Award for 2021. The awards recognise and celebrate individuals, groups and organisations who work with people living with mental illness, and strive to reduce the stigma surrounding it.
ImpaRa is a suicide prevention program for young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Running for just over three years, ImpaRa has worked to support the mental health of almost a thousand young people.
ImpaRa program Coordinator Amy Keys, said that becoming a finalist was completely unexpected. “It’s a proud moment to be acknowledged for the work that we’ve done. And to know that what we have done has secured the mental health of the young people we work with,” she said. “To be recognised is a great milestone. I want to acknowledge all the participants who have bravely come to us and asked for help. Anyone else working in suicide prevention understands what I mean. ”
To view the National Indigenous Times article in full click here.
COVID-19 resources for Aboriginal communities
The NSW Government have a range of COVID-19 print and digital resources for developed specifically for Aboriginal communities. Resources include posters, brochures, flyers, videos (including the one below) and social media tiles with community information about COVID-19.
To access the relevant NSW Government webpage click here.
Calls for heart health funding
The Heart Foundation is calling on governments to commit to funding a campaign to improve the heart health of the SA’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women.
Heart disease is a well-known condition that affects men, but it is also a leading killer of Australian women. In 2019 over 1,700 SA women died from cardiovascular disease and there were 17,600 hospitalisations.
More than twice as many Australian women die of heart disease compared to breast cancer and its impact on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women is even greater. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women are more than twice as likely to experience heart disease and stroke as non-Indigenous women.
Among SA Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women the experience of cardiovascular disease occurred at an earlier age compared to non-Indigenous women. This was particularly evident between the ages of 25 to 34, where almost 30% of SA Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women were found to have cardiovascular disease.
To view the Heart Foundation’s media release in full click here.
Updated hepatitis/liver disease resources
HepatitisSA have compiled a catalogue of updated COVID-19 and hepatitis/liver disease resources. These resources are for service providers and members of the affected community (especially those who may be marginalised) to better understand the importance of vaccination or treatment.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION AND RESEARCH
COVID-19 vaccine acceptability among priority populations – COVID-19 vaccine opinions among several populations: people who inject drugs, people living with HIV, and Aboriginal people – click here.
Statement from the ASHM COVID-19 Taskforce regarding the prioritisation of COVID-19 vaccines for people living with BBV related chronic liver disease – digital document – click here.
COVID-19 vaccination in patients with gastrointestinal and liver disorders – webpage – click here.
Evaluation of hepatitis C test and treat interventions targeted at homeless populations (outside London) in England during the COVID-19 pandemic (2020 report) – click here.
New study to test third COVID-19 vaccine for people with weakened immune systems – click here.
RESOURCES FOR SERVICE PROVIDERS AND COMMUNITY
FAQs for clinicians about COVID-19 vaccines and people living with Hepatitis B/Hepatitis C-related chronic liver disease – click here.
COVID-19 vaccination in patients with gastrointestinal and liver disorders: advice for providers – click here.
COVID-19 vaccination in patients with gastrointestinal and liver disorders: patient information sheet – click here.
Information on coronavirus and COVID-19 for people affected by hepatitis B or hepatitis C – click here.
GENERAL COVID-19 INFORMATION IN MULTIPLE LANGUAGES
COVID-19 (coronavirus) translated resources – click here.
For a complete listing of COVID-19 resources relating to liver disease click here.
If you would like any assistance in searching the catalogue or accessing materials you can contact HepatitisSA by using this email link.
Indigenous Justice Research Program established
The national Indigenous Justice Research Program (IJRP) has been established as part of the Morrison Government’s commitment to the National Agreement on Closing the Gap. The IJRP will fund academic research relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander criminal justice and aim to reduce the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in detention.
Minister for Home Affairs Karen Andrews said closing the gap was vitally important, not just for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples but for all Australians. “This new research program will build a body of evidence to inform improvements to criminal justice polices and responses as they relate to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander individuals interacting with the justice system,” Minister Andrews said. Minister Wyatt said a solid research and evidence base will support all parties to meet and exceed the targets to reduce Indigenous over-representation in the criminal justice system.
To view the media release in full click here.
Baby Coming You Ready?
Baby Coming You Ready? is a culturally safe perinatal mental health assessment, which aims to measure the social and emotional wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander parents in WA.
The resource is a web-based, touch screen mobile application that has been designed by Aboriginal women, men, and researchers. It features images and Aboriginal voice overs that guide users through areas that may be affecting families’ health or wellbeing. It allows parents to record their answers to a series of screening questions focused on their strengths and what they need support with, in a culturally relevant and sensitive way. This process helps to enhance the relationship between non-Indigenous service providers and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander parents.
In June 2020, a pilot of this tool was rolled out across six Perth and outer metropolitan sites and four rural and regional sites in WA.
To view the paper in full click here.
To access the Baby Coming You Ready? website click 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.
Cardiovascular disease webinar
Cardiovascular disease is a leading cause of hospitalisation and death in Australia. Aboriginal peoples experience higher rates of cardiovascular disease at a younger age, leading to a gap in life expectancy, compared to the wider population.
Risk factors like smoking, unhealthy eating, lack of physical activity, high blood pressure, cholesterol levels, family history and age can all increase the risk of heart attack, stroke, or other cardiovascular diseases.
There are ways to prevent and reduce the impact of cardiovascular disease, re-hospitalisation and/or dying. Addressing the risk factors and attending cardiac rehab can make a huge difference. COVID poses additional risk to people with cardiovascular disease, in addition to being a barrier to treatment.
This webinar features:
- Warrawatja Bell’s story about his heart attack and how he changed his life afterwards.
- Associate Professor Raj Puranik from the Redfern Aboriginal Medical Service’s Cardiac Outreach Clinic program discusses what an ideal model of care includes.
- Andy Mark discusses Heart Foundation resources and programs to support Aboriginal Health workers and other health professionals who work with Aboriginal communities to address cardiovascular disease.
- Question and answer session.
For more information about the webinar from 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM Wednesday 27 , and to register click here.