NACCHO Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Health News: 2022 influenza vax early provider advice

feature tile text 'Australian government provides early advise on 2022 flu vaccination' & image of yellow street sign against grey storm clouds with words 'flu season ahead

2022 influenza vax early provider advice

The Australian Government Acting Chief Medical Officer, Dr Sonya Bennett, has provided early advice on seasonal influenza vaccination under the National Immunisation Program in 2022 and the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) has released a clinical statement on the administration of seasonal influenza vaccines in 2022.

You are asked to make every effort to distribute this advice through your organisations and networks, including through regular newsletter correspondence with members and providers, professional magazines and/or publications, and other avenues as appropriate.

Key information is also covered in a news item for health professionals published on the Department of Health website here. Supporting resources will be available in advance of the program rollout in April.

GPs and other immunisation providers can also get the latest National Immunisation Program updates by subscribing to the Department of Health’s email list banner text '2022 influenza season early advice' & fector image of red hand held up with word flu on it

Kids COVID Catch Up Campaign

Paediatricians and specialist physicians from The Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) have launched a major campaign calling for children’s health and wellbeing to be a top priority for COVID-19 pandemic recovery. This includes establishing a national taskforce to address the major setbacks that children and young people have faced due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The RACP’s Kids COVID Catch Up Campaign is calling on all parties to commit to appointing a National Chief Paediatrician to provide clinical leadership on child health and wellbeing issues across Australia. RACP President and Respiratory Physician, Professor John Wilson says that children and young people were hit hard during the pandemic. “We cannot wait any longer. There is a lot at stake if we don’t get this right and help our children recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has also amplified existing inequalities across our communities, impacting children from low socio-economic backgrounds, First Nations children, children from culturally diverse backgrounds, children with disability and children experiencing family violence.” Prof Wilson said.

RACP President-elect and Paediatrician, Dr Jacqueline Small says “Some of the long-term impacts on children’s learning and development are still yet to be realised. “Because of the pandemic’s more serious impact for adults – we’ve seen the health and wellbeing of children take a backseat. It’s time to put children first.”

To view the RACP article in full click here.

New COVID-19 oral treatments

Professor Michael Kidd AM,  Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Australian Government Department of Health, has released further details about the new oral treatments for COVID-19, Lagevrio® (molnupiravir) and Paxlovid® (nirmatrelvir + ritonavir), both provisionally approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration on 18 January 2022. Limited supply of both treatments is now starting to arrive in Australia.

Lagevrio® and Paxlovid® have both been found to be effective in treating mild to moderate COVID-19 in adults aged 18 years of age and older, who do not require supplemental oxygen, and who are at increased risk of progression to hospitalisation or death. The advantage of these oral medications is that many people will be able to receive treatment for COVID-19 in their own homes without the need to travel to hospital for treatment as an inpatient.

You can find more comprehensive information about the oral treatments in the TGA’s media release here and Minister Hunt’s media release here.

image of capsule smashing into covid-19 virus cell

Photo credit: Getty Images Plus. Image source: Nature.

Indigenous start-ups improve SEWB

Research has found Indigenous start-up businesses could improve the welfare and well-being of First Nations individuals and communities. This has the potential to reduce many economic and social setbacks experienced by Indigenous people. Australia has outperformed other developed economies in the quality and economic impact of business start-ups. This includes both mainstream entrepreneurs and Indigenous start-ups.

The number of Indigenous start-ups in Australia grew by 30%in the last decade. Women Indigenous entrepreneurs and participation in successful Indigenous start-ups are also becoming more common. The top 500 Indigenous corporations in Australia alone contribute $1.6 billion to the Australian economy. Yet Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Australia still face incredible challenges when it comes to unemployment, self-employment, and entrepreneurship. Compared to the US and Canada, Australia has a significantly smaller amount of Indigenous people engaged in small businesses.

To view the Daily Bulletin article in full click here.

3 ATSI women a table with documents, laptop, phone

Image source: The Conversation.

Culturally safe health care improves outcomes

Culturally safe health care services contribute to improved health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples in Australia. Yet there has been no comprehensive systematic review of the literature on what constitutes culturally safe health care practice. This gap in knowledge contributes to ongoing challenges providing culturally safe health services and policy. A recent review has explored culturally safe health care practice from the perspective of Indigenous Peoples as recipients of health care in Western high-income countries, with a specific focus on Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.

Elements of culturally safe health care identified were inter-related and included personable two-way communication, a well-resourced Indigenous health workforce, trusting relationships and supportive health care systems that are responsive to Indigenous Peoples’ cultural knowledge, beliefs and values. The review concluded that these elements can form the basis of interventions and strategies to promote culturally safe health care practice and systems in Australia, and recommended that future cultural safety interventions need to be rigorously evaluated to explore their impact on Indigenous Peoples’ satisfaction with health care and improvements in health care outcomes.

To view the full abstract of the paper published in the Journal of Health Services Research & Policy Vol 27, Issue 1 click here.

Bibbulmun woman Corina Abraham-Howard from Perth receives dialysis at the Purple House in Alice Springs

Bibbulmun woman Corina Abraham-Howard from Perth receives dialysis at the Purple House in Alice Springs. Photo: Mike bowers. Image source: The Guardian.

Urgent reform needed to fix overcrowding

The failure to fix overcrowding in remote community houses calls for urgent reform measures, according to the Central Land Council’s (CLC) executive committee. The call comes in the wake of another critical report about the lack of progress on national remote housing targets, from the Australian National Audit Office.

The report shows that the Closing the Gap target of 88% of Aboriginal people living in houses that are not overcrowded by 2031 is far from on track. “The audit report found that more than half of our houses are still overcrowded,” CLC chair Sammy Wilson said. “Overcrowding kills, as this pandemic has shown once again, because our growing families can’t safely isolate from the virus.”

To view the CLC’s media release in full click here.

Cassandra Chula, Gloria Chula, Heather Tcherna and Majella Tipiloura in their home

Cassandra Chula, Gloria Chula, Heather Tcherna and Majella Tipiloura in their home where 16 people live in Wadeye. Photo: AAP. Image source: SBS NITV.

Black Knot – White Knot seminar

Creating A Safe Supportive Environment (CASSE) has extended an invitation, on behalf of the Sydney Institute, to another Two Way Seminar Series, to be held from 9:00–12:00PM on Saturday 2 April 2022.

This seminar, Black Knot – White Knot, will be delivered by the esteemed Dr Craig San Roque and Yuin man Jade Kennedy. Craig will present intercultural and transferential relationship patterns based on 30 years of experience in Black/White cross-cultural interactions in Central Australia. Jade’s generous sharing of his life story is a privilege rarely encountered. Please see more information below.

The previous powerful seminar series in 2020 raised significant funds, contributing to cultural healing camps on country for youth in Alice Springs and remote communities of Central Australia. These camps were vital in the time of COVID and youth in crisis. All proceeds from this seminar are being donated to CASSE to help them carry on these essential collaborations with the youth and elders keeping “the spirit of the grandfather strong”.

For further information about the seminar and to book a ticket click here.

4 Aboriginal youth with boomerangs they have made

Image courtesy the Men’s Tjilirra Movement. Image source: CASSE website.

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.

Rare Disease Day 

The main objective of Rare Disease Day on Monday 28 February 2022 is to raise awareness among the general public and decision-makers about rare diseases and their impact on people’s lives. Australia first participated in Rare Disease Day in 2009 and have since hosted many exciting events across Australia to raise awareness among the general public.

The great complexity and unmet need in rare diseases can be overwhelming for the entire sector: for policy-makers, clinicians, practitioners, researchers, academics, industry and especially for the people who live with a rare disease. While individual diseases may be rare, globally, approximately eight per cent of the population live with a rare disease. This equates to around two million Australians. 

You can visit the official Rare Disease Day website here for the latest news and updates and to download the 2022 campaign materials as soon as they are available.

banner text 'rare disease day 2022 28 February' RDD logo & green purple blue black drawing of 7 faces

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