NACCHO Aboriginal Health Novel #coronavirusaustralia Alert for Primary and Community Health Workers: @healthgovau Brendan Murphy Chief Medical Officer seeks your ongoing support in identifying additional cases that may be in Australia

 ” By now you will be aware that there have been four confirmed cases in Australia of the novel Coronavirus infection, three in NSW and one in Melbourne.

I would like to update you on the latest information and seek your ongoing support in identifying additional cases that may be in Australia or come to Australia in coming weeks.

The critical thing for Australia is early detection to enable diagnosis, isolation and appropriate contact tracing.

We need to ensure that there is no human to human transmission in this country.

To achieve this, I am seeking your ongoing support.

If you see someone with relevant symptoms who has come from China (particularly the Hubei province/Wuhan city) in the last 14 days, or who has come into contact with a confirmed case, please contact your State/Territory Public Health Unit/Communicable Disease Branch.

The Australian health system is very well prepared to manage these situations and I appreciate your ongoing support and direct contribution to the collective response.

Thank you so much for your help. Professor Brendan Murphy Chief Medical Officer

Download Novel Coronavirus Information Sheet for Primary and Community Health Workers

Novel Coronavirus Information Sheet for Primary and Community Health Workers Version 2

Further information on this emerging situation can be found HERE

What is the current situation?

Information on this virus is changing rapidly. It is clear that it is a significant outbreak in the City of Wuhan and surrounds in China.

Reported cases are now over 2000, but all modelling suggests that the total case numbers are likely to be much higher than that.

The majority of cases are in the Hubei Province, where the city of Wuhan is, but relatively small numbers of cases have been reported in many other provinces of China. There have now been more than 40 exported cases outside of China, in Australia, France, Thailand, Japan, South Korea, the USA, Vietnam, Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Taiwan, Nepal and Macau. Nearly all of these cases have reported travel to Hubei Province. Sustained human to human transmission (including to healthcare workers) has clearly been demonstrated in Hubei/Wuhan but not proven in locations outside China where cases have been reported.

There have been 56 confirmed deaths, 52 in the epicentre in Hubei province and four elsewhere in China. A number, but not all, of the deaths appear to have had comorbidities.

What are the clinical features?

Clinically nearly all cases have fever, associated with other respiratory symptoms including cough and shortness of breath.

Current estimates suggest that about 25% of cases have severe disease with significant pulmonary involvement.

There appear to be a number of mild cases, some of whom have completely recovered. Fortunately, all of the four cases in Australia are currently stable, even though one has been unwell for 10 days.

The incubation period is not well defined but appears to be an average of around seven days with an upper limit of 14 days. It is not known how infective people are before symptoms develop, but we do know that the related SARS and MERS coronaviruses were not infectious until symptoms developed.

Phone: (02) 6289 8408  Email: Brendan.Murphy@health.gov.au

Scarborough House, Level 14, Atlantic Street, Woden ACT 2606 – GPO Box 9848 Canberra ACT 2601 – www.health.gov.au

What is the risk of further cases arriving in Australia?

Up until last Thursday there were significant numbers of people coming from the Hubei province of China to Australia, including three direct flights a week from Wuhan. Last Thursday, the Chinese authorities effectively locked down Hubei province and surrounds, preventing people from leaving. This should dramatically reduce the risk of people coming to Australia from the epicentre in Hubei province.

There are, however, a large number of flights to Australia from other cities in China; some residents from Hubei may have left before Thursday and will travel to Australia and there are small pockets of infection elsewhere in China.

We are, therefore, providing information to all passengers on flights from China asking them to seek medical attention if they develop relevant symptoms, particularly if they have been in Hubei province or in contact with an infected person in China.

The greater risk, however, is likely to be people who arrived in China before last Thursday, when the travel restrictions were put in place in China. Given the incubation period, these people could develop symptomatic infection any time over the next 10 days or so.

What do clinicians need to do?

The critical thing for Australia is early detection to enable diagnosis, isolation and appropriate contact tracing.

We need to ensure that there is no human to human transmission in this country.

To achieve this, I am seeking your ongoing support.

If you see someone with relevant symptoms who has come from China (particularly the Hubei province/Wuhan city) in the last 14 days, or who has come into contact with a confirmed case, please contact your State/Territory Public Health Unit/Communicable Disease Branch.

The patient should be isolated and managed in contact/droplet precautions:

  • Place a single-use surgical mask on the patient
  • Isolate the patient in a single room with door closed
  • Any person entering the room should use appropriate droplet and contact precautions personal protective equipment (single-use surgical face mask, eye protection, gown and gloves).

If you are referring the patient to an Emergency Department for assessment and testing (tests are currently available in public health laboratories only) please inform them of the travel history and suspected diagnosis before the patient arrives.

Please do ask and take seriously any relevant travel history. It is likely that most people tested will be negative (it is flu season in China at present) but we must be vigilant in our efforts to identify and isolate the small number of patients who may already be in Australia with this virus or who may come in coming weeks.

At this stage, we know that human to human transmission can occur, and some of the early cases have been severe. We do not yet know how transmissible this infection is, nor how many people get mild infection.

Because of this uncertainty, we are taking a cautious approach and seek your vigilance in detecting and isolating any cases that may present over the coming weeks to protect Australians. By early detection and quarantine we can ensure that it does not become a major public health threat here.

So please don’t forget TRAVEL HISTORY is crucial in someone with respiratory/febrile illness who could have come from China.

Further information on this emerging situation can be found on https://www.health.gov.au/health-topics/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov.

The Australian health system is very well prepared to manage these situations and I appreciate your ongoing support and direct contribution to the collective response.

Thank you so much for your help. Kind regards

Professor Brendan Murphy Chief Medical Officer

26 January 2020

NACCHO Communique: We require your valuable input and it will take just a few minutes.

Hello from NACCHO!

Our NACCHO Communique has been a great success, and we thank you for being a part of our online community!

We’re in the process of making some changes to the Communique to better provide you with information, and would appreciate your valuable input.

Please take a few minutes to complete the survey to help us launch the new and improved NACCHO Communique.

Click here to start the survey.

Closing date 30 September.

Thank you for your participation!

NACCHO Aboriginal Health and Alcohol Research : New ADAC APP a will be ‘game changer’ to gauge realistic drinking habits says @ScottADAC

“Obviously there’s people who want the research done to help their community.

Once we get this app going, it’ll become very clear very quickly where the money should be spent.

That doesn’t mean you’ve just got to chuck money at them, but having Aboriginal-controlled issues and understanding which way they want to go.”

Jimmy Perry, a Ngarrindjerri/Arrernte man and an Aboriginal health worker involved in the project, said communities had a positive response.

 Read over over 200 Aboriginal Health Alcohol and Other Drugs articles published by NACCHO over the past 7 years 

Download the APP Research

18-lee-developing-tablet-computer-app-bmc-med1_final-data

Originally published HERE 

Researchers say a new app has the potential to more accurately reflect the nation’s drinking habits.

The ADAC and app researchers hoped the app would be available to download by the end of the year.

Key points : 

  • App developers say it will get a more accurate drinking history than a face-to-face interview with a trained health professional
  • The Aboriginal Drug and Alcohol Council says the app could replace the National Drug Strategy Household Survey
  • Researchers say alcohol consumption among Aboriginal women is under-represented by up to 700 per cent in national surveys

The Grog App was designed for use by Indigenous Australians but could be used by anyone.

Dr Kylie Lee, a senior research fellow at the Centre of Research Excellence in Indigenous Health and Alcohol who was also involved in the app’s development, said the new technology would create a more accurate database.

“Aboriginal women, their drinking is under-represented in the national surveys by up to 700 per cent and 200 per cent in men.

“Undeniably we need to do better … this app offers a great opportunity to do that.”

Researchers believe the app would elicit greater detail than the National Drug Strategy Household Survey which has been used for more than 30 years.

Dr Lee said the prospect of collating improved data collection on the difficult topic of drug and alcohol consumption was “exciting”.

“I think it really could be a game changer because it’s giving an opportunity for a safe place where they can just tell their story in terms of what they use or what they drink,” she said.

How it works

Take a Virtual Tour HERE

Participants answer a range of broad and specific questions on the app about alcohol and based on that information, they are allocated into a category on a sliding scale from ‘non-drinker’ to ‘high risk’.

Dr Lee said immediate feedback was very helpful.

She said the app could alleviate issues in the way alcohol data was typically collected, for example participants were more likely to be asked about standard drinks but not non-standard containers.

“Like a soft drink bottle, a juice bottle, a sports bottle et cetera so the app has facilities to show how much you put in the bottle,” Dr Lee said.

“It’s very exciting the level of detail you’re going to get.”

Professor Kate Conigrave, the app’s chief investigator and an addiction specialist at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, agreed the new technology could provide greater clarity.

“I’m aware of the traps,” she said.

“One patient I saw had been recorded by a doctor as drinking three standard drinks a day but when I took a drinking history I said, ‘what do you drink them out of?’, and he showed me a sports bottle,” Professor Conigrave said.

“He was drinking three full sports bottles of wine a day, so that’s about 30 standard drinks a day.”

PHOTO: Professor Conigrave says the images used in the app can trigger the participant’s memory, making their drinking history more accurate. (Supplied: Kate Conigrave)

Professor Conigrave said the national health survey often contained “tiny” numbers from Indigenous communities.

“The sample sizes are so small, it’s hard to get a meaningful picture,” she said.

She said the app would provide a level of comfortability and anonymity which may lead to more accurate data, than an interview with a trained health professional.

“People can be a bit embarrassed about what they’re drinking and it can be a bit hard to admit to someone you know, ‘when I drink I have 12 cans of beer,'” she said.

Taking it to the communities

The app is in its second phase of testing.

In the first phase, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders in remote, regional and urban parts of South Australia and Queensland were asked to describe their drinking habits.

Research on the app has now progressed to the second round, during which the focus was on the technology’s validity as an on-the-ground survey tool.

Scott Wilson, who was leading the development of the app at the Aboriginal Drug and Alcohol Council (ADAC), said the second phase was a “major prevalence study” which would include participants from the local hospital and prison.

The location for the trial has not been made public.

“In the big major surveys people in those areas are always excluded,” Mr Wilson said.

“When you consider that I might be in hospital for an alcohol-related illness or I might be in jail because of an alcohol or drug-related crime, my voice or results are never included.”

The ADAC and app researchers hoped the app would be available to download by the end of the year.

In the meantime, they planned to have discussions with the government over the future use of the app and pursue grant opportunities.

Dr Lee said she was excited for the potential of the new technology.

“Eventually I think it would be a great tool to roll out nationally … using it in the same way as the National Drug Strategy Household Survey,” she said

NACCHO Aboriginal Health and #IndigenousEvaluationStrategy : The Australian Government has asked the @ozprodcom to develop a whole-of-government evaluation strategy for policies and programs affecting Indigenous Australians

 ” We are developing an evaluation strategy for Australian Government policies and programs affecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

 Better evidence about what works and why is needed to improve policies and programs.

The strategy will cover both Indigenous‑specific and mainstream policies and programs.”

 Romlie Mokak, Commissioner, Productivity Commission

Download the brochure HERE

indigenous-evaluation-about

Great ideas, engagement and interest in #IndigenousEvaluationStrategy workshop at #LowitjaConf2019 facilitated by Commissioner @RMokak and team members. Strong indicator of need for more attention on policy and program development and evaluation.

Evaluation can help policy-makers and communities determine:

  • whether government policies and programs are achieving their objectives
  • what influences whether government policies and programs are effective
  • how government policies and programs can be improved

We will engage widely across metropolitan, regional and remote locations.

We want to hear from individuals, communities and organisations.

  • How can Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander knowledge, priorities and values be better integrated into policy and program evaluation?
  • What principles should guide Australian Government agencies’ evaluation efforts?
  • What should be the priority policy areas for future Australian Government evaluation efforts?
  • How can evaluation results be better used in policy and program design and implementation?

We are particularly keen to get input and advice from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, communities and organisations.

An issues paper will be released in June 2019.

Learn more about the project, or register your interest or call 1800 020 083

Indigenous Evaluation Strategy

Letter of Direction

Evaluation of policies and programs impacting on Indigenous Australians

I, Josh Frydenberg, Treasurer, pursuant to Parts 2 and 4 of the Productivity Commission Act 1998 hereby request the Productivity Commission to develop a whole-of-government evaluation strategy for policies and programs affecting Indigenous Australians. The Commission will also review the performance of agencies against the strategy over time, focusing on potential improvements and on lessons that may have broader application for all governments.

Background

A number of high profile reports have highlighted the need for more evaluation of policies and programs that have an impact on Indigenous Australians. For example, the Commission’s Overcoming Indigenous Disadvantage Report 2016found that only a relatively small number of programs have been rigorously evaluated.

Improving outcomes for Indigenous Australians depends on agencies with responsibility for policies and programs affecting Indigenous Australians undertaking meaningful evaluations. The Commission is to develop a strategy to guide that evaluation effort.

Scope

The Commission should develop an evaluation strategy for policies and programs affecting Indigenous Australians, to be utilised by all Australian Government agencies. As part of the strategy, the Commission should:

  • establish a principles based framework for the evaluation of policies and programs affecting Indigenous Australians
  • identify priorities for evaluation
  • set out its approach for reviewing agencies’ conduct of evaluations against the strategy.

In developing the strategy, the Commission should consider:

  • how to engage Indigenous communities and incorporate Indigenous knowledge and perspectives
  • ethical approaches to evaluations
  • evaluation experience in Australia and overseas
  • relevant current or recent reviews commissioned or undertaken by Australian, state, territory or local government agencies
  • the availability and use of existing data, and the further development of other required data and information
  • areas in which there may be value in the Productivity Commission undertaking evaluation
  • how to translate evidence into practice and to embed evaluation in policy and program delivery.

Process

The Commission should consult widely on the strategy, in particular with Indigenous people, communities and organisations (such as the Empowered Community regions), and with all levels of government. It should also consult with non-Indigenous organisations, and individuals responsible for administering and delivering relevant policies and programs.

The Commission should adopt a variety of consultation methods including seeking public submissions.

The Commission should provide the evaluation strategy and forward work program to Government within 15 months of commencement.

The Hon Josh Frydenberg MP
Treasurer

[10 April 2019]

 

NACCHO Aboriginal Health and #SocialMedia #MentalHealth #SuicidePrevention : Is your mob safe online ? New Report: Urges parents and communities to seek support with children’s online safety

Kids are growing up in two worlds, the real world and an online world. Just like we protect kids from dangers in the real world, it’s important to protect their safety in their online world too.

Many of our mob are unsure how to help keep their kids safe online. These resources are designed to educate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander parents and carers of children aged 5 – 18 about the importance of starting the chat with young people around online safety.

Visit Be Deadly Online to find out more about the big issues online, like bullying, reputation and respect for others “

Download StarttheChatandStaySafeOnlinepdf

Start the Chat

Download Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Resources Here

“eSafety has built engaging and award-winning educational content to help adults understand the issues and trends so they can have informed conversations with young people about what they are doing and experiencing online.

There is no substitute for being as engaged in our kids’ online lives the way we are in their everyday lives.

There is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to parenting in the digital-age. Our materials seek to accommodate these differing parenting styles and are tailored to be used in accordance with your child’s age, maturity and level of resilience,” 

eSafety Commissioner, Julie Inman Grant

Download the Report eSafetyResearchParentingDigitalAge

Parents are the first port of call for most young people affected by negative experiences online but less than half of parents feel confident to manage the situation, according to new research issued yesterday.

The report, Parenting in the digital age, conducted by the eSafety Commissioner (eSafety) explores the experience of parents and carers raising children in a fast-paced connected world.

eSafety found only 46% of Australian parents feel confident in dealing with online risks their children might face, with only one third (36%) actively seeking information on how to best manage situations like cyberbullying, unwanted contact or ‘sexting’ and ‘sending nudes’.

According to the eSafety Commissioner, Julie Inman Grant, the findings reinforced the importance of providing resources to support parents and carers in managing conversations about online safety.

“We know dealing with online issues can be challenging for many parents. The issues are complex, nuanced and ever-changing and are different from what we experienced growing up,” says Inman Grant.

“The research shows 94% of parents want more information about online safety. This is why it is critical to equip parents and carers with up to date resources and advice on how to keep our children safer online. Australian parents need to know they are not alone in navigating this brave new online world and that there is constructive guidance to help them start the chat.”

Starting the chat, an important part of growing up safe online

“Everyone has a role to play in further safeguarding our children online and we are seeking the help of all parents, carers, educators, counsellors and anyone else that has a connection to a child or young person to answer this call.”

 

Starting the chat with teens, key to online safety (Stars Foundation)

The report also uncovered the varied parenting styles used to help manage online safety in the home. Parents with older children were more likely to favour an open parenting style, providing guidance and advice, while parents with younger children were more likely to adopt a restrictive approach by controlling online access and setting rules around internet-use.

“There is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to parenting in the digital-age. Our materials seek to accommodate these differing parenting styles and are tailored to be used in accordance with your child’s age, maturity and level of resilience,” adds Inman Grant.

Now is the time to start the chat.

Visit eSafety.gov.au for a free copy of the report, as well as tools, tips and advice for parents, carers and educators to help manage these conversations, including tailored information for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders as well as resources in various translated languages.

NACCHO Aboriginal Male Health News : Minister @KenWyattMP will provide $1 million over 2 years to @BushTVMedia @ErnieDingo1 to deliver its Camping On Country program, to address health and wellbeing challenges in a culturally safe and meaningful way.

Ernie Dingo believes light moments are important even when talking about serious topics. In one candid exchange with a man who insisted doctors were unnecessary, Dingo shared the story of his decision to allow a doctor to examine his prostate.

“I told the men that I thought ‘Ah well, who is going to know?’ and they had a good laugh,” he said.

Dingo remains vigilant about his health. A dad of six, including three-year-old twin boys, he said being a father and grandfather made him want to encourage men to take care of themselves.

“We have to be around for our kids, and their kids,” 

Actor Ernie Dingo has created a confronting, humorous and bracingly honest reality series about Indigenous men that has captured the attention of federal Indigenous Health Minister Ken Wyatt.

Dingo, a Yamitji man from the Murchison region of Western Australia, became a household name in Australia as the presenter of lifestyle program The Great Outdoors between 1993 and 2009. But his retreat from public life coincided with a struggle against depression that he said made him want to help other Indigenous men.

From The Australian See in full Part 2 below 

Ernie Dingo’s campfire chats a dose of reality TV

 ” I’ve been in film & tv for 40 years that’s long enough! Its time for me to go bush & work with my Countrymen.

No point in having influence if you can’t use it to make the world a better place for our mob!

Follow 

A new health initiative that places culture and traditional knowledge systems at the centre of its program aims to improve the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men and ensure they have a strong voice in health and wellbeing services in their own communities.

The Federal Government will provide $1 million over two years to Bush TV Enterprises to deliver its Camping On Country program, to address health and wellbeing challenges in a culturally safe and meaningful way.

Speaking at the launch on the Beedawong Meeting Place in WA’s Kings Park: (From left) Murchison Elder Alan Egan; Ernie Dingo; Ken Wyatt; Kununurra Elder Ted Carlton.

Respect for culture has a fundamental role in improving the health of our men, who currently have a life expectancy of 70 years, more than 10 years shorter than their non-Indigenous counterparts.

Camping On Country is based on the premise that working with local men as the experts in their own health and community is critical in Closing the Gap in health equality.

We need every Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander man to take responsibility for their health and to be proud of themselves and their heritage — proud of the oldest continuous culture on Earth, and the traditions that kept us healthy for the past 65,000 years.

Each camp will focus on specific topics including:

  • Alcohol and drug dependency
  • Smoking, diet and exercise
  •  Mental health and suicide

A traditional healer and an Aboriginal male health worker are assigned to each camp to conduct health checks and provide one-on-one support to men, which includes supporting men through drug or alcohol withdrawals.

Traditional yarning circles are used to discuss health and wellbeing issues as well as concerns about employment, money, housing and personal relationships.

Well-known actor, television presenter and Yamatji man Ernie Dingo developed the Camping On Country program with his BushTV partner Tom Hearn, visiting 11 communities and conducting small camps with groups of men at four sites across remote Australia in 2018.

The plan is to conduct 10 camps a year, with the initial focus on communities in need in Central Australia, the Kimberley, Arnhem Land, the Gulf of Carpentaria and the APY Lands.

The program puts culture and language at the centre of daily activities and also uses the expertise and knowledge of local men’s groups, traditional owners and local Aboriginal organisations.

A video message stick will be produced during each camp and made available to all levels of government associated with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health.

The message stick information will also be used by health providers to develop holistic, culturally appropriate programs with men and their communities.

The $1 million funding will also support Bush TV Enterprises to partner with a university and Primary Health Alliances to conduct research to track improvements in remote men’s health and enhance health and wellbeing services.

Bush TV Enterprises is an Aboriginal-owned community agency specialising in grassroots advocacy and producing and distributing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander stories.

Our Government has committed approximately $10 billion to improve Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health over the next decade, working together to build strong families and communities.

Part 2 From The Australian  

Ernie Dingo’s campfire chats a dose of reality TV

Dingo, a Yamitji man from the Murchison region of Western Australia, became a household name in Australia as the presenter of lifestyle program The Great Outdoors between 1993 and 2009. But his retreat from public life coincided with a struggle against depression that he said made him want to help other indigenous men.

The 62-year-old has partnered with documentary-maker Tom Hearn to make four short films from fireside yarns with indigenous men in some of Australia’s most remote towns and communities.Mr Wyatt believes the program, called Camping on Country, has the potential to change lives. He has commissioned 20 more camps around Australia over the next two years at a cost of $1 million.

“We talk about everything,” Dingo told The Australian. “You want to see the way the men sing and talk once they feel safe.”

Camping On Country could ultimately drive health policy, as Dingo listens to men talk about alcohol and drug dependency, smoking, diet, exercise, mental health and suicide. Mr Wyatt will announce his support for the camps today and hopes that they can help close the health gap between indigenous and non-indigenous men. Aboriginal men die an average 10 years earlier than other Australian men, and generally their rates of cancer, heart disease and mental illness are higher.

An Aboriginal male health worker will be at each camp providing health checks and support, including to anyone experiencing drug or alcohol withdrawals. Dingo and Hearn will make a short film of each camp through production company Bush TV. The federal funding of $1 million covers an independent assessment of the overall program, ­including whether it makes a difference to the health of men who take part.

NACCHO @RACGP Aboriginal Health Survey : 2 of 2 From now until February 2019, NACCHO and @RACGP  wants to hear from you about implementing the National Guide and supporting culturally responsive healthcare for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

In 2018–19, NACCHO and the RACGP are working on further initiatives and we want your input!

Download this post as PDF and share with your networks

 We-seek-your-input-NACCHO-RACGP-Project

What we are currently doing:

  • Conducting practice team surveys and focus groups to:
    • understand current system requirements and how they can improve identification rates of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients in mainstream practices and
    • integrate the key recommendations from the National Guide into clinical software
  • Establishing a Collaborative with the Improvement Foundation to conduct rapid quality improvement cycles leading to the provision of better healthcare for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples
  • Engaging with medical software vendors to understand how we can improve identification rates and integrate the National Guide into clinical software
  • Developing resources for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people regarding preventive health assessments and follow up care
  • Working with our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander-led Project Reference Group to carry out all project activities.

From now until February 2019, we want to hear from you!

Do you have ideas, solutions or examples of good practice relating to:

  • how health services can ensure that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients receive patient centred, quality health assessments (715) that meet their needs?
  • the resources that would support mainstream general practice teams to provide culturally responsive healthcare for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people?
  • how guidelines, such as the National Guide, can be integrated into clinical software?
  • features of clinical software that will support improved identification of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients at your practice?
  • features of a 715 health assessment template that will support a comprehensive health assessment?

To participate in a short survey, please CLICK HERE

We also welcome your feedback and input at aboriginalhealth@racgp.org.au

With your feedback, we will:

  • understand the needs of our cohort
  • understand what works through our Collaborative model for improvement report
  • develop new resources to support you and your team with delivering better healthcare to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples regardless of where care is sought
  • share the lessons with mainstream general practice and Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services to improve the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

National guide to a preventive health assessment for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

Early detection, preventing disease and promoting health

The National Guide is a practical resource intended for all health professionals delivering primary healthcare to Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people.

Its purpose is to provide GPs and other health professionals with an accessible, user-friendly guide to best practice preventive healthcare for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients.

See Website

New to the third edition!

National Guide podcasts

Subscribe to the National Guide Podcast (listen to the third edition) to hear host Lauren Trask, NACCHO Implementation Officer and CQI expert, speak to GPs  and researchers on updates and changes in the third edition of the National Guide.

Downloads

 National guide to a preventive health assessment for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people (PDF 9.8 MB)

 Evidence base to a preventive health assessment in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people (PDF 9.4 MB)

 National Guide Lifecycle chart (child) (PDF 555 KB)

 National Guide Lifecycle chart (young) (PDF 1 MB)

 National Guide Lifecycle chart (adult) (PDF 1 MB)

NACCHO Aboriginal Health Workforce #refreshtheCTGRefresh : @IAHA_National and @HealthInfoNet Launch at #IAHA_Forum18 the first film in a series titled ‘Leading in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander allied health

“Sharing the films with our communities, stakeholders and our International guests will showcase the commitment our workforce has in addressing racism in the health and education sectors, valuing and respecting the critical role that allied health graduates and students can play

The purpose of the video project was to capture stories and vital information from allied health students and graduates on their successes, challenges and career development enablers.”

 IAHA CEO, Donna Murray pictured below at launch with HealthInfoNet Director, Professor Neil Drew

Last Friday Indigenous Allied Health Australia (IAHA) and the Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet (HealthInfoNet) released the first of a series of films (funded by BHP) showcasing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander allied health professionals.

The films are focused on promoting allied health workforce development including allied health careers, support available and needed for success with individuals sharing their experiences from a cultural and professional perspective who are contributing to an inter-professional leadership approach to improve the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Watch HERE

The first film titled ‘Leading in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander allied health’ was launched at the International Indigenous Allied Health Forum in Sydney – the first event of its kind hosted by IAHA.

The Forum is hosting many First Nations visitors, welcomed from North America, Canada, the Pacific, and New Zealand. The film demonstrates the importance of investing in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, the allied health workforce and how Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander graduates and students are leading in the sector

Ms Murray said “These stories will be key resources for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander individuals and communities considering a health career and for employers looking to improve their cultural safety and responsiveness in ensuring high quality services and workforce development strategies, with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples”.

“IAHA has had a long standing partnership with HealthInfoNet, who have been a significant leaders in sharing and supporting Indigenous Health research and policy and are vital partners in transforming systems” said Ms Murray.

HealthInfoNet Director, Professor Neil Drew, said “We were delighted to work with IAHA, to meet inspiring people who are shaping their journeys in different ways and different professions, but who will actually deliver the improvements in health that have been talked about for so long.  We’re proud to be delivering resources to support them and increase their impact in and for communities.

We’ve been developing a strong in-house film capability. The team co-created the films with IAHA and we are delighted the first in the series has been shared today, with an Australian and international audience”.

The rest of the series will be released throughout 2019 and will be available on the IAHA website https://iaha.com.au/ and the IAHA YouTube channel and the HealthInfoNet site https://healthinfonet.ecu.edu.au/learn/health-facts/multimedia-knowledge-exchange-products/

NACCHO Promotion Watch NACCHO TV 

VIEW HERE 

 

NACCHO @TonicHealth_AU Aboriginal Health TV and #refreshtheCTGRefresh : Aboriginal health messages need to be made with us rather than for us to #closethegap

 ” Health education needs to lift our spirit, give optimism, and focus on “we” not “you”.

We are communal people, and we want to know the data from our community, not focus on what individuals can do for their health. Such data are regularly reported in mainstream press and Australian Institute of Health and Welfare reports – but those for whom these data are most relevant miss out.

We want to know what we can do as a community, working together with health providers, to understand, be empowered and respond positively to important health knowledge. Giving us population-level data gives us a chance to be in charge of determining both problems and solutions.”

From the Conversation Nov 22 see community authors 

 “I agree. Excellent piece. It’s exactly what we aspire to and the technology allows specificity. “

Dr Norman Swan from Tonic media reviewing article : Tonic Health Media is the communications powerhouse built by ABC medical broadcaster Norman Swan and psychiatrist and health services entrepreneur Matthew Cullen.

“Over the next three years $3.4 million has been committed to develop the Aboriginal Health TV network, which will deliver health and wellbeing messages through Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services.

Content will be developed by the Aboriginal Health TV Network in partnership with local Aboriginal health services, to ensure it is culturally appropriate and relevant. The Aboriginal Health TV Network will also use mobile solutions and social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram and YouTube to expand the platform’s reach and promote engagement.

Board members are respected members of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health community, including Dr Mark Wenitong from Apunipima Cape York Health Council, Donna Ah Chee from the Central Australian Aboriginal Congress, Adrian Carson from the Institute of Urban Indigenous Health, Professor Sandra Eades from the University of Melbourne and Associate Professor Dr Christopher Lawrence from the University of Technology Sydney ”

From NACCHO Communique July 23 

 

” This is a unique opportunity to connect with First Nations audiences at the point of care. The Aboriginal Health TV Network will be developed by reputable health communications company, Tonic Health Media, as a not-for-profit enterprise, with oversight from its Indigenous Advisory Board.”

Indigenous Health Minister Ken Wyatt

Watch NITV News video HERE 

“We have had positive feedback that patients are more assertive when they see and talk about the programs, and a lot of discussion among patients themselves especially when they can relate to the programs,”

At Sydney’s inner-city Redfern Aboriginal Medical Service, where the system has been under trial for the past year, clinic co-ordinator Maree Tohi is convinced it drives change

Australian First Nations people waiting for appointments at Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations around the country will now see culturally relevant and locally produced content on the waiting room TVs.

Aboriginal Health TV, which launched in October, provides messages about leading health issues including smoking, eye and ear checks, skin conditions, nutrition, immunisation, sexual health, diabetes and drug and alcohol treatment services. It will also be repackaged for social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.

The program is funded by a A$3.4 million government grant over three years, and will be delivered by Tonic Media, the communications company founded by ABC media journalist Norman Swan. It will be seen in 302 ACCHO clinics

 

Part 1 Aboriginal health messages need to be made with us rather than for us

 

In our small community in Arnhem Land, Yilpara, we have no TV reception. We welcome this opportunity to share our knowledge about how to make and deliver health messaging. But the practical reality is that this network will need to be accessible beyond the reach of TV reception.

The program’s aim – to help close the gap in Indigenous health literacy – is important, and knowledge is the critical first piece of the puzzle. We also need mechanisms in place to support healthy living.

Our small community of Yilpara in East Arnhem Land. Google maps

Local content, in language

The extent to which availability of day-to-day health knowledge is taken for granted in mainstream Australia, and is missing from remote settings, cannot be understated.

Health education is usually given by busy staff in English, which may be the wrong languagefor the patient. It’s often delivered without the basic principles of two-way learning: empathy and respect. So knowledge about health does not reach us.

The disempowering effect of lack of knowledge, and the downstream impacts on health behaviours and outcomes, underpins the disadvantage of First Nations people.

To succeed, the Aboriginal Health TV programming needs to be delivered in our languages. In our community, as in many other remote communities, our traditional Aboriginal languages are still strong – we speak our language every day, in everything we do.

Culturally responsive approaches also must be used when bringing information about issues like smoking, eye and ear checks, immunisation, nutrition and drug and alcohol treatment services.

We have our own ways of understanding illness and health. Only by using our own words, metaphors that are meaningful to us, and a communication style that is respectful, can we hear the messaging from health professionals. This means the health messages need to be made with us rather than for us.

Tailored messaging using local footage offers the best chance of engaging viewers. We need to help make the stories if our communities are to trust and understand the information.

Respecting First Nations people

We still also need to go a step deeper than just using simple terms and our languages.

When Aboriginal radio first started in our community, it was all negative health messages that made us feel bad. We wondered what it was there for: why would the people making the programs want the listeners to feel bad? This bad feeling is more than just emotional; it affects us physically and makes us lose confidence.

Health education needs to lift our spirit, give optimism, and focus on “we” not “you”.

We are communal people, and we want to know the data from our community, not focus on what individuals can do for their health. Such data are regularly reported in mainstream press and Australian Institute of Health and Welfare reports – but those for whom these data are most relevant miss out.

We want to know what we can do as a community, working together with health providers, to understand, be empowered and respond positively to important health knowledge. Giving us population-level data gives us a chance to be in charge of determining both problems and solutions.

Beyond TV and Aboriginal health centres

Television is an effective medium for conveying public health knowledge, including to Indigenous populations and children.

In New Zealand, a series of culturally-appropriate television commercials providing public health education about rheumatic fever (a bacterial infection which often leads to rheumatic heart disease) are screened, targeting the most at-risk Māori and Pasifika populations. The health messaging is effective, with research finding the commercials to be the primary source of knowledge about rheumatic fever among at-risk children.

But in remote Aboriginal communities, where some of the greatest disparities in health outcomes such as rheumatic heart disease (a chronic disease where there is damage to the heart valves) are experienced, knowledge is craved but hard to come by.

In our home community we have one radio station, but no TV, no internet in our homes, no newspapers. We want to be able to access the new Aboriginal Health TV – but we will need the information in the right way.


Read more: Why are Aboriginal children still dying from rheumatic heart disease?


Social media is likely to be an effective strategy for Aboriginal Health TV programming.

Social media, such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, has great potential for targeted health messaging; Indigenous Australians have a strong presence on social media in areas where internet is accessible. Lessons from using social media to convey stop smoking messagingwill be informative for the Aboriginal Health TV network.

But it’s important that messaging on social media also be positive and lift our confidence.

Another factor affecting the reach of Aboriginal Health TV network is type of clinic that broadcasts its content. If the network only reaches community-controlled health care services, as was originally proposed, half the Aboriginal population will miss out because they are serviced by government clinics.

Aboriginal Health TV programming should be rolled out in all Aboriginal health centres, whether government- or community-controlled.

Better food and housing

Knowledge is only one cog in the behaviour change wheel. The wheel won’t turn without other core elements to support healthy living. If opportunities are limited to eat well, exercise, or avoid the transmission of infections, no amount of knowledge or motivation will work.

Effective messaging that leads to local motivation to advocate for improved resources must then be supported by external agencies: better food in the shops; enough houses for the number of people; and improved access to building maintenance to combat the ill health effects of crowding.


Read more: Indigenous voices are speaking loudly on social media but racism endures


When researchers from Menzies School of Health Research starting working with us on rheumatic heart disease, we explained that the children needed better nutrition. We started a lunch club to provide healthy lunches to our school children, supported by the local employment program and our health service. Now we’re working with the local store owner to improve food supplies.

Health behaviour change is a long-term strategy

For knowledge to pass into culture, become embedded as a culturally owned phenomenon and passed on to others, it takes years, if not generations. In the western world, it took around a century from the discovery of germs as the cause of disease until communicable disease rates reached their modern-day lows.

Rheumatic fever, caused by human-to-human transmission of streptococcal infection, remained a leading cause of child hospitalisation for all families in Australia into the 1940s. It is now rare in mainstream Australia, while First Nations communities have world-leading rates of rheumatic fever in 2018.

We need culturally-appropriate knowledge in language of how to stop rheumatic fever – and the programming of Aboriginal health TV could help deliver this information to First Nations people.

The Aboriginal Health TV network also presents opportunities for:

  • community members to share testimonials
  • public health officials to provide alerts about outbreaks
  • health care providers to give education about prevention and management of common conditions
  • researchers to share outcomes of studies; especially local research which community members themselves many have participated in.

We want the Aboriginal Health TV network to be a way for knowledge to reach us in a way that builds our confidence. We look forward to working out solutions together. We want our children to understand how to stay strong.

NACCHO Aboriginal Health #IDW2018 #NACCHOagm2018 Report 5 of 5 @Mayi_Kuwayu Landmark study to examine health benefits of Indigenous connection to country launched at #NACCHOagm2018

We are trying to plug gaps in data and change the mistaken narrative that being Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander is the cause of ill health,

It is important because past policies likely contribute to intergenerational health and wellbeing outcomes for our mob.”

“Governments and statistical agencies are very reluctant to collect and report information on that.”

Professor Ray Lovett said the main reason for the study was to highlight how Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander identity, cultural participation and knowledge was linked to better health outcomes.

” From Thursday, 20,000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people will be mailed a copy of the survey, and a further 180,000 will have one by the end of January.

All Indigenous people over 16 who are registered with Medicare will receive a copy, or will be eligible to fill it out online.

Known as Mayi Kuwayu (from the Ngiyampaa-Wongaibon language, meaning to follow people over time), the study will follow the respondents for up to 50 years.”

See Guardian article Part 2 below 

Mayi Kuwayu biggest ever study of health and wellbeing among Indigenous adults was launched at our National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation Members’ Conference. in Brisbane last week

Among the data to be collected by researchers is the impact of historical policy decisions such as the Stolen Generations and exposure to racism, as well as how culture is linked to wellbeing.

It is spearheaded by Australian National University Associate Professor and Wongaibon man Ray Lovett and is the first of its kind.

Hundreds of thousands of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are expected to participate.

Watch Video HERE 

Professor Lovett said the main reason for the study was to highlight how Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander identity, cultural participation and knowledge was linked to better health outcomes.

“For many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people this concept is intuitive,” he said.

“We know if we maintain a connection to our country, to our languages, to strong family and kinship networks then that it is good for us, but we need the data.”

Associate Professor Lovett’s own grandmother was a member of the Stolen Generation, which has impacted on his own family.

“I’m a product of the Stolen Generations — my grandmother was taken,” he said. “This has had traumatic impacts within my own extended family.”

He said he hoped in the future Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and wellbeing policy focussed on connecting and reconnecting people to their country and cultural knowledge.

The study has been more than three years in the planning.

People can tell their story online at mkstudy.com.au or call 1800 531 600

Part 2 From the Guardian

The health benefits of connections to identity, culture and land for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are to be measured in a study, beginning on Thursday, that will follow them for up to 50 years.

Published HERE 

It has taken the Australian National University research team four and a half years, including two and a half years of consultation with dozens of Indigenous communities, to decide how to measure such long-held anecdotal beliefs in a statistically useful way.

“For many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, this concept is intuitive,” said the study leader, Assoc Prof Ray Lovett. “We know if we maintain a connection to our country, to our languages, to strong family and kinship networks, that it is good for us, but we need the data.”

Lovett said pilot studies in Victoria and central Australia had already demonstrated that better connections to country vastly improved the mental health of its Aboriginal participants. “Those two studies are showing the same thing in two totally different areas,” he said.

The survey also seeks to measure how racism, discrimination and past policies of forced removals have affected Aboriginal people’s physical and mental health.

“It’s personal for me, that question,” Lovett said. “Growing up, my grandmother was from the stolen generations, and that legacy lasted through my mother’s generation.

“In my own family there was a constant concern I sensed as a child, that they were quite worried about being monitored, about being under surveillance.

“There’s a constant level of stress we experience, from subtle or overt racism, and that level of distress is a real thing for many Aboriginal families. The intergenerational effects are profound.

“People confuse indigeneity with ill health and poor outcomes. A big part of our study is looking at how, when people are connected to culture, they are better off, and how those things really matter and should be part of our national health policy.”

The survey was launched at the annual conference of the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation, the peak body representing Aboriginal health agencies.

Talking about Culture

Our team have listened to many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people speaking about what culture means to them. The following quotes are from the Mayi Kuwayu focus groups held around the country in 2017.

Torres Strait

There’s three tiers that we look at in culture. Our physical connection, our emotional connection and the spiritual. That’s the number one important factor – all of our belief system and our connectivity bases on spirituality.

……………..

Every generation stands on the shoulders of the last generation. So you and me stand up on shoulders of giants. That’s why we’re here. We as Indigenous people come from the mind set of survival, not economics. We’re built on survival, which is each other.

……………..

Culture is our traditions, dance, and languages. Campfire yarns, sharing from elders, talking, family, preserving our identity so it doesn’t die out – and sharing all these things.

Ulladulla

Culture is so important. We provide the knowledge to our young ones so that they have something that they can carry on.

……………..

As a kid you weren’t allowed to go talking languages. You weren’t allowed to go doing any – you were also told that you didn’t know what you were talking about. And the best thing today is the fact that we now get the chance to teach our own culture and teach our language.

……………..

Our culture has been suppressed through Government policies. The more time goes on, the more policies that are implemented to prevent us from celebrating our own cultures.

Bunbury

The other thing that’s the main thing, is connection to country, and knowing where you come from.

……………..

If you don’t know where you come from, how do you know where you’re going?

Cowra

I can see a change now with strengthening culture. I can see that happening as more young people think about their culture. I just think language, when you speak it, it’s like a song when you’re speaking it. It’s real rhythmical, the language.

……………..

I’ve grown up with positive role models with my aunties and my uncles. I’ve grown up spiritually strong. And Mum, with what happened with her, I just think that affected her spirit. I think that’s a lot of Aboriginal people, their spirit has been affected. And our culture is spiritual. That’s the basis of our culture.

……………..

My mother, when she did the Census, she never, ever said she was Aboriginal and she definitely is. But she would never say because she thought they’d come back on her and take the kids away, you know? Just fear of something happening. And I’m sure a lot of people didn’t do the Census. That’s why we haven’t got good statistics.

Tangantyere

Culture for me is respecting our elders. They are our first teachers, they’re our guidance. They are our backbone of our family.

……………..

I always start with elders because they’re our teachers and they help us connect back into country. They teach us knowledge, history, storylines, song-lines. Laws. Caring and sharing with family. That family kinship connection that keeps us strong.

……………..

Our law is the law of our land and that’s what makes us strong.

CLC Ranger Group

Knowing where the story is and how the story is being involved in your country – is pretty strong.

……………..

When we go out on our traditional land, we do get some positive energy and it builds our strength. And drinking water from waterholes and eating tucker from out bush, all that. That’s what builds our people’s strength up.

……………..

You’ve got to start at the beginning where you’re made. Your belonging, you know. Where you’re from. Where you’re connected through not only country, but also how you fit in with family members in that area. Regrouping or grouping each other in cultural, but it starts off with ceremonies to know where you stand as a person for being involved in culture.

Cairns

When we go up on country, it’s about taking the kids through the landscape, talking to them about special significant sites and what happened and showing them the fish traps and ground ovens and all those sorts of things. So sharing that understanding is not just having a connection to your land but actually understanding their lands is really important.

……………..

You can flow between two cultures, but as soon as you’re a mob together, you just go for it. It just connects you. And it feels good, you know. And so for someone that’s not getting any of that in their life, there’s got to be an impact.

……………..

For me, that cultural wellbeing the biggest, the most ultimate thing is being able to go home at some time, in some way, shape or form. This is what we’ve actually done with our clients that nobody ever bothered to do.

And the Government wouldn’t fund it and things like that, but we found a way to do it. And the difference it’s made in those peoples’ lives is significant.

It’s just phenomenal, the difference once they’ve been able to go back to their country, sit on that dirt and be surrounded by the people they haven’t seen for many years. The biggest thing for me is that cultural wellbeing.

South Australia

Yeah, that’s our main concern. And culture and how it affects wellbeing. If we don’t have culture, we don’t always have wellbeing.