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 #ClosetheGap TV : Minister @KenWyattMP announces New $3.4 million Digital Aboriginal Health Television @TonicHealth_AU Network to Help in Closing The Gap

We are aiming to start the rollout in October, with the Aboriginal Health TV Network expected to reach up to 1.2 million people each month in hundreds of community controlled primary health care waiting rooms across the nation

The scope of this network is exciting, with important health and wellbeing stories, plus local production input to ensure the broadcasts are relevant and engaging for their audiences.

Through an entertaining and compelling format, health messages will be delivered on issues such as smoking, eye and ear checks, skin conditions, diet, immunisation, sexual health, diabetes and drug and alcohol treatment services.

Indigenous Health Minister Ken Wyatt AM

A comprehensive new digital television network will be rolled out across hundreds of health centres, as the Turnbull Government works with First Nations communities to Close the Gap and achieve health equality.

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.

“This is a unique opportunity to connect with First Nations audiences at the point of care” Minister Wyatt said. 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.

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.

Info will also be shared on NACCHO TV and our NACCHO social media platforms

“The new Aboriginal Health TV Network will be installed in Aboriginal health services free of charge and it is envisaged it will be self-sufficient within three years,” said Minister Wyatt. “Importantly, programming from the Network will also be available for transmission on Tonic Health Media’s existing platform which broadcasts in mainstream health services.”

“That means the health messaging will also reach the 50 per cent of First Nations people who use non-Aboriginal health services.”

The Aboriginal Health TV Network will also build partnerships with broadcasters and Aboriginal producers across Australia who specialise in producing Indigenous television content

. The Aboriginal Health TV Network is part of the Turnbull Government’s extensive work with First Nations people, to improve health and wellbeing.

The Government announced $3.9 billion over four years in health services funding for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the 2018-19 Budget.