Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health #WorldHepatitisDay News Alerts : #LetsTalkHep editorial contributions from @NACCHOChair Donnella Mills, Dr Jason Agostino , Dr Mark Wenitong , Troy Combo : Plus link todays @HepAus event

“We are so proud of the work done by our members and affiliates in preventing the spread of COVID-19, but we cannot lose sight of the need to reduce our viral hepatitis rates.

We are concerned about the harm caused to our communities from the spread of Hepatitis B and C and I encourage our people to get vaccinated and continue ongoing treatments.

Keep in touch with your local Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations.”

NACCHO Chair Donnella Mills

The National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) is spreading the message to all Australians that while the rates of hepatitis in Australia are declining, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are being left behind.

Read / Download full NACCHO World Hepatitis Day press releases HERE .

“Great work has been done in improving immunisation rates against Hepatitis B and on treatment for Hepatitis C, yet the prevalence of viral hepatitis and subsequent liver damage remains high amongst Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

What is particularly concerning are rates of viral hepatitis in remote and very remote communities are five times higher compared to metropolitan areas.

In the COVID-19 environment, we want to urge everyone to continue their regular health care. This involves getting childhood immunisations and for those on treatment for Hepatitis, don’t change or stop treatments unless advised to do so by your treating doctor.”

NACCHO Medical Adviser, Dr Jason Agostino

“At Apunipima we provide screenings for Hepatitis in our clinics and work closely with prison screening programs to help control the disease being transmitted within communities when prisoners are released.

Hepatitis in our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities is a preventable disease, but with both short-term and potentially chronic implications, Hepatitis has a significant impact on our mob’s health.

We need to work together to ensure we practice prevention in our communities, but also that we get tested, detect the disease early and have access to best practice treatment and management.”

The Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (ACCHO), Apunipima Cape York Health Council’s Public Health Medical Officer, Dr Mark Wenitong

” In recognition of the inequitable burden of hepatitis C amongst Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, EC Australia has developed an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples Strategy (The Strategy) that will inform and guide the activities of EC Australia.

The Strategy will cut across the four key components of EC Australia: health promotion, workforce development and health services delivery, implementation research and evaluation and surveillance.

This will ensure a holistic and comprehensive approach to accessible and culturally appropriate hepatitis C care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.”

Troy Combo EC Australia as the Program Manager for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Plan see Part 1 below

 ” Leading organisations unite to discuss COVID-19 impact on hepatitis C elimination in Australia on World Hepatitis Day

Australia’s leading drug and infectious disease organisations will join forces to call for a re-engagement in elimination of hepatitis C in an online event on World Hepatitis Day, Tuesday, 28 July 2020. “

See Part 2 Below for link todays event 

Part 1 EC Australia, Partnering to Eliminate Hepatitis C

Firstly, I would like to introduce myself, Troy Combo, I have a joint appointment with the Burnet Institute and am employed and based at University of Queensland, School of Public Health and have recently been appointed as the Aboriginal Program Manager for EC Australia.

I have worked in the Aboriginal Community Controlled Health sector since completing my Diploma in Aboriginal Health at Redfern AMS in 1994. I have held positions with local AMS’s, State Affiliates (AH&MRC & QAIHC) and I have also worked for NACCHO (2013-2014). More recently I was employed at Bulgarr Ngaru Medical Aboriginal Corporation (2015-2020).

Australia can be one of the first countries to achieve the World Health Organization’s target of eliminating hepatitis C as a public health threat by 2030.

In 2016 an estimated 188,951 Australians were living with the hepatitis C virus resulting in up to 630 deaths from liver cancer and liver failure each year. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people experience a disproportionate burden of hepatitis C and account for 10% of all people living with the virus in Australia.

As a priority population in our own right, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are also overrepresented amongst people in custodial settings, people who currently inject drugs or previously injected drugs and people accessing drug treatment programs; all of which increases a person’s risk of contracting hepatitis C.

In 2017 notification rates for hepatitis C were 4.4 times higher than non-Indigenous Australians (168.1 per 100 000 vs 38.4 per 100 00) and the rates for newly acquired (evidence of acquisition in the prior 24 months) hepatitis C was 13.7 times that of non-Indigenous Australians (24.6 v 1.8 per 100 00 respectively).

In 2016, direct-acting antiviral (DAA) medication was made available on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) to most people living with hepatitis C, regardless of disease stage. DAAs have revolutionised hepatitis C care making elimination of hepatitis C possible; they are highly effective with efficacy rates over 95%, have minimal side effects, and require only 8-12 weeks of once-daily tablets. While initial uptake of DAAs was positive, by 2018 the number of people commencing treatment started to fall. If Australia is to achieve its elimination targets, it is crucial that testing remains high and that DAA treatments are provided to people with hepatitis C to cure people of hepatitis C and prevent further transmission.

Eliminate Hepatitis C Australia

Eliminate Hepatitis C Australia (EC Australia) is a nationwide, multidisciplinary project with the aim to achieve a coordinated response to eliminate hepatitis C as a public health threat by 2030. The project brings together researchers and implementation scientists, government, health services and community organisations, peak and other non-government organisations to increase hepatitis C testing and treatment in community clinics.

The specific goals of EC Australia are to:

  • Ensure that 15,000 Australians with chronic hepatitis C are treated and cured
  • Ensure that people identified with cirrhosis related to hepatitis C infection are treated and cured, and regularly reviewed to monitor for liver
  • Establish a national collaborative framework to facilitate a coordinated response to the elimination of hepatitis C as a public health threat from

In recognition of the inequitable burden of hepatitis C amongst Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, EC Australia has developed an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples Strategy (The Strategy) that will inform and guide the activities of EC Australia. The Strategy will cut across the four key components of EC Australia: health promotion, workforce development and health services delivery, implementation research and evaluation and surveillance. This will ensure a holistic and comprehensive approach to accessible and culturally appropriate hepatitis C care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

My experience working within the Aboriginal Community Controlled Health sector has shown how the model of care provided by these services is well suited to take up the challenge of the EC Australia goals. At EC Australia, we believe the “test and treat” model required to increase treatment uptake for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is an achievable goal at a local service delivery level.

We will be convening an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Leadership Group in late 2020 that will provide expert advice and cultural governance for all EC activities as part of the Strategy. Our aim is to build strong networks and work closely with the viral hepatitis and the Aboriginal Community Control Health sectors. We seek to build on successful models of care and workforce development programs within these sectors, to expand and inform other areas.

Over the coming weeks we will be contacting organisations to participate in a mapping of current and/or past hepatitis C health promotion, workforce development and service delivery activities.

If your organisation would like to participate or learn more about the EC Australia Partnership and Aboriginal and Torres Islander Peoples Strategy you can contact Troy Combo at t.combo@uq.edu.au or by phone on (07) 3346 4617.

For more information please visit the below link:

https://www.burnet.edu.au/projects/410_eliminate_hepatitis_c_australia_partnership_ec_australia

 Part 2 Leading organisations unite to discuss COVID-19 impact on hepatitis C elimination in Australia on World Hepatitis Day

Australia’s leading drug and infectious disease organisations will join forces to call for a re-engagement in elimination of hepatitis C in an online event on World Hepatitis Day, Tuesday, 28 July 2020.

Australia is on track to become one of the first countries to eliminate hepatitis C, which is part of the global goal from the World Health Organisation (WHO) to eliminate hepatitis C as a public health threat by 2030.

However, the COVID-19 pandemic and related social isolation has impacted drug use, drug and hepatitis C treatment services, and the health of people who use drugs. This puts an increased risk on new hepatitis transmission, access to treatment, and the elimination goals for 2030.

The Australian Injecting and Illicit Drug Users League (AIVL), Hepatitis Australia, the Australasian Professional Society on Alcohol & other Drugs (APSAD), the Kirby Institute and National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NDARC) at UNSW Sydney, have partnered to address what COVID-19 will mean for hepatitis C elimination in Australia.

CEO of Hepatitis Australia, Carrie Fowlie said, “Hepatitis C is a blood borne virus and people who inject drugs are a crucial priority population.”

“Not only is there a risk that the WHO 2030 elimination goal could be set back, but more immediate negative impacts could be experienced by people at risk of contracting hepatitis or seeking hepatitis treatment in Australia due to current and future social, health, and policy changes.”

CEO of AIVL, Melanie Walker said some of the new regulations and social requirements are impossible for people who use drugs to abide by.

“People who use drugs need to attend needle and syringe programs (NSPs) and be able to have ongoing access to the full range of harm reduction, pharmacotherapy and other drug and hepatitis treatments,” said Ms Walker.

“If people who use drugs cannot access these services, we could see an increase in sharing of injecting equipment, which could lead to increased cases of hepatitis C and compound the negative health outcomes already experienced by this group.”

In the newly released National Drug Strategy Household Survey 2019, illicit drug use was responsible for 75 percent of Australia’s acute hepatitis C burden of disease.

Professor Greg Dore, Head of Viral Hepatitis Clinical Research Program at the Kirby Institute, UNSW Sydney, said there had been encouraging recent data from the Australian Needle Syringe Program Survey on prevalence of active hepatitis C infection in people who inject drugs which had declined from 51 percent to 18 percent between 2015 and 2019.

“However, despite these declines in number of people with hepatitis C, continued declines in numbers being treated through 2019 and into 2020 compromises the achievement of WHO elimination goals,” said Professor Dore.

“More strategies are needed to raise awareness of the need for testing and availability of new hepatitis C treatments to eliminate hepatitis C by 2030.”

In a new NDARC study of 702 people who used drugs during COVID-19 restrictions and lockdown, it was found only 24 percent were able to avoid sharing drug injecting equipment.

Professor Michael Farrell, Director of NDARC, UNSW Sydney, said the research shows that people who use drugs want to limit their risk of contracting viral diseases like COVID-19 and hepatitis C, but this can be challenging due to a range of factors.

“We need to continue to find solutions that support people who use drugs to ensure hepatitis C elimination remains a priority.”

About the online event

Facilitated by health reporter Dr Norman Swan, this event brings together affected communities, doctors, scientists, health and community workers, researchers and the public to discuss the immense challenges COVID-19 brings to hepatitis C elimination and the health of people who use drugs, and to discuss strategies to ensure Australia stays on track to become one of the first countries in the world to eliminate hepatitis C.

Date: Tuesday, 28 July 2020

Time: 12:30pm – 2:30pm

Book here.

Speakers

  • Jude Byrne, National Project Coordinator, Australian Injecting and Illicit Drug Users League
  • Sione Crawford, Chief Executive Officer, Harm Reduction Victoria
  • Greg Dore, Head, Viral Hepatitis Clinical Research Program, Kirby Institute, UNSW Sydney
  • Carrie Fowlie, Chief Executive Officer, Hepatitis Australia
  • Jules Kim, Chief Executive Officer, Scarlet Alliance, Australian Sex Workers Association
  • Andrew Lloyd, Head, Viral Immunology Systems Program, Kirby Institute, UNSW Sydney
  • Stuart Manoj-Margison, Director, BBV, STI and Torres Strait Health Policy Section, Australian Government Department of Health
  • Amy Peacock, Senior Research Fellow, National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, UNSW Sydney
  • Melanie Walker, CEO, Australian Injecting and Illicit Drug Users League
  • Michael Farrell, Director, The National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NDARC), UNSW Sydney

NACCHO Aboriginal Health Research Alert : @HealthInfoNet releases Summary of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health status 2019 social and cultural determinants, chronic conditions, health behaviours, environmental health , alcohol and other drugs

The Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet has released the Summary of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health status 2019

This new plain language publication provides information for a wider (non-academic) audience and incorporates many visual elements.

The Summary is useful for health workers and those studying in the field as a quick source of general information. It provides key information regarding the health status of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people across the following topics:

  • social and cultural determinants
  • chronic conditions
  • health behaviours
  • environmental health
  • alcohol and other drugs.

The Summary is based on HealthInfoNet‘s comprehensive publication Overview of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health status 2019. It presents statistical information from the Overview in a visual format that is quick and easy for users to digest.

The Summary is available online and in hardcopy format. Please contact HealthInfoNet by email if you wish to order a hardcopy of this Summary. Other reviews and plain language summaries are available here.

Here are the key facts

Please note in an earlier version sent out 7.00 am June 15 a computer error dropped off the last word in many sentences : these are new fixed 

Key facts

Population

  • In 2019, the estimated Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population was 847,190.
  • In 2019, NSW had the highest number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people (the estimated population was 281,107 people, 33% of the total Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population).
  • In 2019, NT had the highest proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in its population, with 32% of the NT population identifying as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islanders
  • In 2016, around 37% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people lived in major cities
  • The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population is much younger than the non-Indigenous population.

Births and pregnancy outcomes

  • In 2018, there were 21,928 births registered in Australia with one or both parents identified as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander (7% of all births registered).
  • In 2018, the median age for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mothers was 26.0 years.
  • In 2018, total fertility rates were 2,371 births per 1,000 for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women.
  • In 2017, the average birthweight of babies born to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mothers was 3,202 grams
  • The proportion of low birthweight babies born to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mothers between 2007 and 2017 remained steady at around 13%.

Mortality

  • For 2018, the age-standardised death rate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in NSW, Qld, WA, SA and the NT was 1 per 1,000.
  • Between 1998 and 2015, there was a 15% reduction in the death rates for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in NSW, Qld, WA, SA and the NT.
  • For Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people born 2015-2017, life expectancy was estimated to be 6 years for males and 75.6 years for females, around 8-9 years less than the estimates for non-Indigenous males and females.
  • In 2018, the median age at death for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in NSW, Qld, WA, SA and the NT was 2 years; this was an increase from 55.8 years in 2008.
  • Between 1998 and 2015, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander infant mortality rate has more than halved (from 5 to 6.3 per 1,000).
  • In 2018, the leading causes of death among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in NSW, Qld, WA, SA and the NT were ischaemic heart disease (IHD), diabetes, chronic lower respiratory diseases and lung and related cancers.
  • For 2012-2017 the maternal mortality ratio for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women was 27 deaths per 100,000 women who gave birth.
  • For 1998-2015, in NSW, Qld, WA, SA and the NT there was a 32% decline in the death rate from avoidable causes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 0-74 years

Hospitalisation

  • In 2017-18, 9% of all hospital separations were for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
  • In 2017-18, the age-adjusted separation rate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people was 2.6 times higher than for non-Indigenous people.
  • In 2017-18, the main cause of hospitalisation for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people was for ‘factors influencing health status and contact with health services’ (mostly for care involving dialysis), responsible for 49% of all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander seperations.
  • In 2017-18, the age-standardised rate of overall potentially preventable hospitalisations for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people was 80 per 1,000 (38 per 1,000 for chronic conditions and 13 per 1,000 for vaccine-preventable conditions).

Selected health conditions

Cardiovascular health

  • In 2018-19, around 15% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people reported having cardiovascular disease (CVD).
  • In 2018-19, nearly one quarter (23%) of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults were found to have high blood pressure.
  • For 2013-2017, in Qld, WA, SA and the NT combined, there were 1,043 new rheumatic heart disease diagnoses among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, a crude rate of 50 per 100,000.
  • In 2017-18, there 14,945 hospital separations for CVD among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, representing 5.4% of all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander hospital separations (excluding dialysis).
  • In 2018, ischaemic heart disease (IHD) was the leading specific cause of death of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in NSW, Qld, WA, SA and the NT

Cancer

  • In 2018-19, 1% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people reported having cancer (males 1.2%, females 1.1%).
  • For 2010-2014, the most common cancers diagnosed among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in NSW, Vic, Qld, WA and the NT were lung cancer and breast (females) cancer.
  • Survival rates indicate that of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in NSW, Vic, Qld, WA, and the NT who were diagnosed with cancer between 2007 and 2014, 50% had a chance of surviving five years after diagnosis
  • In 2016-17, there 8,447 hospital separations for neoplasms2 among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
  • For 2013-2017, the age-standardised mortality rate due to cancer of any type was 238 per 100,000, an increase of 5% when compared with a rate of 227 per 100,000 in 2010-2014.

Diabetes

  • In 2018-19, 8% of Aboriginal people and 7.9% of Torres Strait Islander people reported having diabetes.
  • In 2015-16, there were around 2,300 hospitalisations with a principal diagnosis of type 2 diabetes among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
  • In 2018, diabetes was the second leading cause of death for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
  • The death rate for diabetes decreased by 0% between 2009-2013 and 2014-2018.
  • Some data sources use term ‘neoplasm’ to describe conditions associated with abnormal growth of new tissue, commonly referred to as a Neoplasms can be benign (not cancerous) or malignant (cancerous) [1].

Social and emotional wellbeing

  • In 2018-19, 31% of Aboriginal and 23% of Torres Strait Islander respondents aged 18 years and over reported high or very high levels of psychological distress
  • In 2014-15, 68% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 years and over and 67% of children aged 4-14 years experienced at least one significant stressor in the previous 12 months
  • In 2012-13, 91% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people reported on feelings of calmness and peacefulness, happiness, fullness of life and energy either some, most, or all of the time.
  • In 2014-15, more than half of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 years and over reported an overall life satisfaction rating of at least 8 out of 10.
  • In 2018-19, 25% of Aboriginal and 17% of Torres Strait Islander people, aged two years and over, reported having a mental and/or behavioural conditions
  • In 2018-19, anxiety was the most common mental or behavioural condition reported (17%), followed by depression (13%).
  • In 2017-18, there were 21,940 hospital separations with a principal diagnosis of International Classification of Diseases (ICD) ‘mental and behavioural disorders’ identified as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander
  • In 2018, 169 (129 males and 40 females) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in NSW, Qld, WA, SA, and the NT died from intentional self-harm (suicide).
  • Between 2009-2013 and 2014-2018, the NT was the only jurisdiction to record a decrease in intentional self-harm (suicide) death rates.

Kidney health

  • In 2018-19, 8% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people (Aboriginal people 1.9%; Torres Strait Islander people 0.4%) reported kidney disease as a long-term health condition.
  • For 2014-2018, after age-adjustment, the notification rate of end-stage renal disease was 3 times higher for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people than for non-Indigenous people.
  • In 2017-18, ‘care involving dialysis’ was the most common reason for hospitalisation among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
  • In 2018, 310 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people commenced dialysis and 49 were the recipients of new kidneys.
  • For 2013-2017, the age-adjusted death rate from kidney disease was 21 per 100,000 (NT: 47 per 100,000; WA: 38 per 100,000) for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in NSW, Qld, WA, SA and NT
  • In 2018, the most common causes of death among the 217 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who were receiving dialysis was CVD (64 deaths) and withdrawal from treatment (51 deaths).

Injury, including family violence

  • In 2012-13, 5% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people reported having a long-term condition caused by injury.
  • In 2018-19, 16% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 years and over had experienced physical harm or threatened physical harm at least once in the last 12 months.
  • In 2016-17, the rate of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander hospitalised injury was higher for males (44 per 1,000) than females (39 per 1,000).
  • In 2017-18, 20% of injury-related hospitalisations among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were for assault.
  • In 2018, intentional self-harm was the leading specific cause of injury deaths for NSW, Qld, SA, WA, and NT (5.3% of all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander deaths).

Respiratory health

  • In 2018-19, 29% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people reported having a long-term respiratory condition .
  • In 2018-19, 16% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people reported having asthma.
  • In 2014-15, crude hospitalisation rates were highest for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people presenting with influenza and pneumonia (7.4 per 1,000), followed by COPD (5.3 per 1,000), acute upper respiratory infections (3.8 per 1,000) and asthma (2.9 per 1,000).
  • In 2018, chronic lower respiratory disease was the third highest cause of death overall for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in NSW, Qld, WA, SA and the NT

Eye health

  • In 2018-19, eye and sight problems were reported by 38% of Aboriginal people and 40% of Torres Strait Islander people.
  • In 2018-19, eye and sight problems were reported by 32% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander males and by 43% of females.
  • In 2018-19, the most common eye conditions reported by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders were hyperopia (long sightedness: 22%), myopia (short sightedness: 16%), other diseases of the eye and adnexa (8.7%), cataract (1.4%), blindness (0.9%) and glaucoma (0.5%).
  • In 2014-15, 13% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, aged 4-14 years, were reported to have eye or sight problems.
  • In 2018, 144 cases of trachoma were detected among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children living in at-risk communities in Qld, WA, SA and the NT
  • For 2015-17, 62% of hospitalisations for diseases of the eye (8,274) among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were for disorders of the lens (5,092) (mainly cataracts).

Ear health and hearing

  • In 2018-19, 14% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people reported having a long-term ear and/or hearing problem
  • In 2018-19, among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children aged 0-14 years, the prevalence of otitis media (OM) was 6% and of partial or complete deafness was 3.8%.
  • In 2017-18, the age-adjusted hospitalisation rate for ear conditions for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people was 1 per 1,000 population.

Oral health

  • In 2014-15, the proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children aged 4-14 years with reported tooth or gum problems was 34%, a decrease from 39% in 2008.
  • In 2012-2014, 61% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children aged 5-10 years had experienced tooth decay in their baby teeth, and 36% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children aged 6-14 years had experienced tooth decay in their permanent teeth.
  • In 2016-17, there were 3,418 potentially preventable hospitalisations for dental conditions for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander The age-standardised rate of hospitalisation was 4.6 per 1,000.

Disability

  • In 2018-19, 27% of Aboriginal and 24% of Torres Strait Islander people reported having a disability or restrictive long-term health
  • In 2018-19, 2% of Aboriginal and 8.3% of Torres Strait Islander people reported a profound or severe core activity limitation.
  • In 2016, 7% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with a profound or severe disability reported a need for assistance.
  • In 2017-18, 9% of disability service users were Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, with most aged under 50 years (82%).
  • In 2017-18, the primary disability groups accessing services were Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with a psychiatric condition (24%), intellectual disability (23%) and physical disability (20%).
  • In 2017-18, 2,524 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander National Disability Agreement service users transitioned to the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

Communicable diseases

  • In 2017, there were 7,015 notifications for chlamydia for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, accounting for 7% of the notifications in Australia
  • During 2013-2017, there was a 9% and 9.8% decline in chlamydia notification rates among males and females (respectively).
  • In 2017, there were 4,119 gonorrhoea notifications for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, accounting for 15% of the notifications in Australia.
  • In 2017, there were 779 syphilis notifications for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people accounting for 18% of the notifications in Australia.
  • In 2017, Qld (45%) and the NT (35%) accounted for 80% of the syphilis notifications from all jurisdictions.
  • In 2018, there were 34 cases of newly diagnosed human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Australia .
  • In 2017, there were 1,201 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people diagnosed with hepatitis C (HCV) in Australia
  • In 2017, there were 151 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people diagnosed with hepatitis B (HBV) in Australia
  • For 2013-2017 there was a 37% decline in the HBV notification rates for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
  • For 2011-2015, 1,152 (14%) of the 8,316 cases of invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) were identified as Aboriginal and Torres Strait people .
  • For 2011-2015, there were 26 deaths attributed to IPD with 11 of the 26 deaths (42%) in the 50 years and over age-group.
  • For 2011-2015, 101 (10%) of the 966 notified cases of meningococcal disease were identified as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
  • For 2006-2015, the incidence rate of meningococcal serogroup B was 8 per 100,000, with the age- specific rate highest in infants less than 12 months of age (33 per 100,000).
  • In 2015, of the 1,255 notifications of TB in Australia, 27 (2.2%) were identified as Aboriginal and seven (0.6%) as Torres Strait Islander people
  • For 2011-2015, there were 16 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people diagnosed with invasive Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) in Australia
  • Between 2007-2010 and 2011-2015 notification rates for Hib decreased by around 67%.
  • In 2018-19, the proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people reporting a disease of the skin and subcutaneous tissue was 2% (males 2.4% and females 4.0%).

NACCHO Aboriginal #SexualHealth @atsihaw Resources and Events : Plus Dawn Casey ” NACCHO recognises the importance of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander #HIVAwarenessWeek #WorldAIDSDay2019 “


“Exposure to STIs differs for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Our women are diagnosed with HIV, STIs and BBVs at a greater rate than other Australian women and are facing infertility, ectopic pregnancy, spontaneous preterm birth or still-birth.

NACCHO believes this requires greater recognition and commitment from all levels of government to work collaboratively across portfolios and mainstream organisations.

A good example is the current partnership between the Commonwealth Department of Health and NACCHO to address the syphilis outbreak, which has been extraordinary!

It highlights innovation in science and the great work done on the ground by Aboriginal health workers.

There is no better way to provide healthcare than through the 145 Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations (ACCHOs), who deliver holistic, culturally safe, comprehensive primary healthcare across Australia, including those living in very remote areas

Studies have shown that ACCHOs are 23% better at attracting and retaining Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients than mainstream providers. 

If funded adequately ACCHOs are the solution to addressing the increasing rates of STIs, BBVs and HIV/AIDS.”

Dr Dawn Casey, Deputy CEO of NACCHO who spoke at the 2019 parliamentary World AIDS Day breakfast this week. See continued NACCHO Press Release Part 1 and speech notes part 2 Below 

“ATSIHAW has grown bigger, with 132 ATSIHAW events to be held by 73 organisations across Australia this year – mostly in ACCHOs. ACCHOs have embraced ATSIHAW wholeheartedly and this has been key to ATSIHAW’s success.

Community engagement has been pivotal to the improvements in Australia’s HIV response and it’s time to focus on getting HIV rates down in our communities.”

South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI) Head, Aboriginal Health Equity—Sexual Health and Wellbeing, A/Prof James Ward

Download the 30 Page PDF Report 

2019-SAHMRI-ATSIHAW-booklet

ATSIHAW 2019 dates are November 28 to December 5

View the ATSIHAW 2019 registered events on Facebook or below by state.

NSW | QLD | SA | VIC | WA | ACT | NT | TAS

See Web Page

Part 1 NACCHO Press Release continued 

The National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) recognises the importance of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander HIV Awareness Week (ATSIHAW) and the 2019 World AIDs Day to draw attention to the increasing impact of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

In Australia, it has been recorded that the cases of new HIV diagnoses amongst Australians represent a decline of 23% in the last five years.

However, the HIV notification rates within the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population in 2018 was more than twice the rate for the Australian-born non-Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Source: Kirby Institute

Australia is perceived on the global stage as a world leader in HIV prevention and treatment.

But considering the high prevalence of this issue in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, NACCHO understands there is still some way to go.

Part 2 Dawn Casey Speaking Notes

World AIDS Day Parliamentary Breakfast – 27 November 2019

Traditional Owners of this land, the Ngunnawal and Ngambri People. I like to acknowledge other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the room.

I would like to thank AFAO for inviting me here to speak this morning.

I would like to acknowledge the Hon Greg Hunt, Minister for Health, the Hon Chris Bowen, Shadow Minister for Health and all the Members of Parliament present here. It is just fabulous to see a bipartisan approach taken to this issue.

Exposure to STIs, HIV and BBVs differs for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Research tells us that it is more likely attributed to heterosexual sex and injection drug use coming into our communities. And we know that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women are diagnosed with HIV, STIs and BBVs at a greater rate than other Australian women.

This is extremely concerning as the next generation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women living in remote communities are facing infertility, ectopic pregnancy, spontaneous preterm birth or still-birth.

Let me remind you that there is no better way to provide healthcare than through Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations (ACCHOs). They have been around here for many years and are established and operated by local communities, through locally elected Boards of Management, to deliver holistic and culturally safe and comprehensive primary healthcare.

They punch above their weight, with 145 services nationally providing about three million episodes of care each year for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people across Australia, including those living in very remote areas.

ACCHOs provide culturally safe, comprehensive primary health care consistent with our people’s needs, this includes: home and site visits; provision of medical, public health and health promotion services; allied health, nursing services; assistance with making appointments and transport coordination; help to access child care or to deal with the justice system and drug and alcohol services.

Our people trust us with their health. Studies have shown that ACCHOs are 23% better at attracting and retaining Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients than mainstream providers.

If funded adequately ACCHOs are the solutions to addressing the increasing rates of STIs, BBVs and HIV/AIDS. The current partnership between the Department of Health to address the syphilis outbreak has been extraordinary! It highlights innovation in science and the great work done on the ground by Aboriginal health workers.

I would like to leave with one message:

It is only with everyone working together that we will be able to help minimise the impact of STIs, BBVs and HIV/AIDS in the community. Mainstream organisations need to do their part and collaborate and work collectively with us.

Nationally, there is a high-quality network of Aboriginal controlled service providers that get results – understand them, connect with them and identify mutually beneficial areas to work together

Picture above Tim Wilson MP and his quote : At Parliament today, we gathered to remember & honour those lost to HIV/AIDS, redouble our efforts to stop new transmissions and stigma + mark tomorrow’s start of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander HIV Awareness Week.

Find out more here: atsihiv.org.au

Part 3 Health Minister Greg Hunt Press Release 

World AIDS Day is held on 1 December each year. It raises awareness across the world and in the community about HIV and AIDS.

It is a day for people to show their support for people living with HIV and to remember and honour those who we have lost.

In the 2019–20 Budget, the Morrison Government invested $45.4 million to implement Australia’s five National Blood-Borne Viruses (BBV) and Sexually Transmissible Infections (STI) Strategies.

These strategies will make a deep and profound difference in reducing the health impacts and stigma of BBV and STI, including HIV.

Today, I am pleased to announce that our Government will provide additional, ongoing support for people with HIV and other BBV and STI’s by extending funding to six national peak organisations, providing almost $3 million for 2020-21.

In addition, from 1 December 2019, Australians living with HIV will save more than $8,500 a year with the listing of a new combination medicine on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).

It is estimated that 850 Australians with HIV will benefit from the listing of Dovato® (dolutegravir with lamivudine) on the PBS, which will provide more choice for them in how they can manage their HIV.

Effective once daily treatments such as Dovato and other new medicines can control the virus so that people living with HIV can enjoy long, healthy and productive lives.

With the PBS subsidy, people living with HIV will pay just $40.30 per script, or $6.50 with a concession card for Dovato®.

Australia continues to be a world leader in the response to HIV. The number of new HIV diagnoses today is at its lowest in nearly 20 years.

Our success is built on a model of partnership between government, people living with HIV, community based organisations, health professionals and researchers.

We are seeing more people tested for HIV and initiating treatment for HIV. There are also more people living with a suppressed viral load. In addition, improved access to HIV prevention methods, including the PBS-listed pre exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), helps reduce the number of new HIV diagnoses.

We are also looking to address stigma and discrimination.

The Eighth National HIV Strategy 2018-22, guides our partnership approach over the next four years to virtual elimination of HIV transmission by 2022.

We aim to be one of the first countries in the world to eliminate new HIV transmissions.

NACCHO Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Sexual Health : #SH19 #HIVAUS19: We call on all delegates and organisations to support the Noongar Boodja Statement on #closingthegap on #STIs & #BBVs among Indigenous peoples of Australasia

” The signatories to this statement gather for the Australasian HIV & AIDS and Sexual Health Conference 2019 in Perth – traditional lands of the Noongar Whadjuk peoples, and the 41st New Zealand Sexual Health Conference 2019 in Wellington – traditional lands of the peoples of Ngāti Toa and Taranaki Whānui ki te Upoko o te Ika a Maui.

Australasian signatories – peoples of Australia, Aotearoa New Zealand, the South Pacific, and Oceania including Micronesia, Melanesia and Polynesia – come together to share, collaborate and discuss the successes and challenges that lay ahead for the Australasian region in addressing STIs, viral hepatitis and HIV.” 

Click on the link to sign The NOONGAR BOODJA statement on CLOSING THE GAP on STIs & BBVs among Indigenous peoples of Australasia

Read over 50 Aboriginal Sexual Health Articles HERE published by NACCHO 

A strong theme of these conferences are the persistent inequities in sexual health outcomes for the Indigenous Peoples of the Australasian nations.

Despite recent investments in this area to address syphilis, much work remains to be done by all to address endemic rates of STIs in regional and remote Australia (chlamydia, gonorrhoea and trichomonas) and BBVs nationally (HIV and viral hepatitis).

This is unacceptable, because high rates of STIs particularly impact young women and their reproductive health (PID, premature birth, stillbirth and infertility) and the occurrence of BBVs should be decreasing at rates similar to the non-Indigenous population.

We confirm that these inequities are in contravention of the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples which all Australasian countries have endorsed.

Specifically, we commit to and call upon national and jurisdictional governments to appropriately fund and work with Indigenous communities, their community-based organisations and leaders to:

  • Action the right of Indigenous peoples to co-design culturally responsive policies and strategies that match their sexual health priorities, knowledges and practices;
  • Support Indigenous communities to provide health promotion and harm reduction services, particularly to young Indigenous peoples;
  • Provide high quality testing and care, in primary health care programs for Indigenous peoples;
  • Sustain a culturally responsive and expert STI, HIV and blood-borne virus (BBV) health workforce in Indigenous communities;
  • Build our knowledge to improve sexual health outcomes and reduce inequities.

For organisational sign up please send an endorsement email including your logo to Karen.Seager@ashm.org.au

NACCHO Aboriginal #SexualHealth News : New PBS Doctors Bag listing for benzathine penicillin to address syphilis outbreak Plus new clinician resource STI and BBV control in remote communities: clinical practice and resource manual

  “ STI and BBV control in remote communities: clinical practice and resource manual was developed by the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute for clinicians practising in remote communities.

It’s for doctors, nurses and Aboriginal Health Workers and is designed as an induction tool for new recruits as well as a resource manual for more experienced practitioners. ”

See Part 2 SAHMRI Press Release below for download link 

Read over 50 Aboriginal Sexual Health articles published recently by NACCHO

Part 1 New PBS Doctors Bag listing for benzathine penicillin to address Syphilis outbreak

Starting September 1st 2019, benzathine benzlypenicillin (Bicillin L-A) is listed on the Emergency Drug Supply Schedule (also known as Prescribers Bag or Doctors Bag).

The listing can be found here.

NACCHO worked in consultation with ACCHO members services, expert clinicians and the Royal Australian College of Physicians (RACP) to co-author a submission to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) in early 2019 to improve syphilis treatment options for health services.

This was supported by the PBAC and now this item can be prescribed through the Doctors Bag scheme.

The listing of benzathine benzlypenicillin (Bicillin L-A) will support the timely treatment of syphilis for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities by providing a mechanism for health services to have stock on site, and/or obtain supply for patients in advance of a consultation.

Part 2 New clinician resource STI and BBV control in remote communities: clinical practice and resource manual

SAHMRI consulted widely with remote clinicians in developing this resource.

Many highlighted the same main challenges regarding STI and BBV control in remote communities:

  • difficulty navigating health systems and models of care
  • limited exposure to and knowledge with some of the STIs and BBVs endemic in many remote communities
  • accessing and navigating relevant STI and BBV clinical guidelines
  • limited cultural orientation, and or guidance on how to best engage young people in the clinic and community settings.

This feedback informed the development of the manual, which includes links to useful online induction resources, training modules and remote practice manuals from across Queensland, Northern Territory, Western Australia and South Australia.

View the full manual here.

Or Download the PDF Copy HERE

STI-BBV-control-clinical-practice-manual-31072019

 

The manual also collates national, jurisdictional and regional STI and BBV clinical guidelines as well as highlighting national guidelines for addressing the current syphilis outbreak affecting much of remote Australia.

It’s important to note that the information contained within this manual does not constitute clinical advice or guidance and should not be relied on by health practitioners in providing clinical care.

SAMRI sends a huge thank you to the many doctors, nurses and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Workers and Practitioners who generously provided feedback and advice in developing this manual.

We also acknowledge the young people, Elders, community leaders – and whole communities – who graciously and enthusiastically offered their time to developing the Young Deadly Free health promotion resources catalogued in the manual.

View the full manual here.

 

NACCHO #VoteACCHO Aboriginal Health #Election2019 @billshortenmp and @SenatorDodson set to unveil a $115 million #Labor plan to tackle the Indigenous health crisis today in Darwin : Including $ for @DeadlyChoices #SuicidePrevention  #MentalHealth #RHD #SexualHealth #EyeHealth

“Labor believes innovative and culturally appropriate health care models are central to improving the health outcomes of First Australians and closing the gap, noting that improving Indigenous health was “critical to our journey towards reconciliation. Labor would be funding programs “co-designed with and led by First Nations peoples – driven by the Aboriginal health workforce “

The Opposition Leader, who is also Labor’s spokesman for Indigenous affairs, will unveil the commitment while on the campaign trail with his assistant spokesman Senator Pat Dodson in the Northern Territory today;

Summary of the Labor Party $115 million commitments against NACCHO #VoteACCHO Recommendations

See all 10 NACCHO #VoteACCHO Recommendations Here

Refer NACCHO Recommendation 4

$29.6 million to improve mental health and prevent youth suicide : to administer the mental health funds through Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services

See our NACCHO Chair Press Release yesterday

Refer NACCHO Recommendation 6

Sexual health promotion would get a $20 million boost

$13 million would be invested to tackle preventable eye diseases and blindness.

$3 million in seed funding provided to Aboriginal Medical Services to develop health and justice programs addressing the link between incarceration and poor health

Deadly Choices campaign would get $16.5 million for advertising to raise awareness of health and lifestyle choices

Refer NACCHO Recommendation 3

$33 million to address rheumatic heart disease

Media report from

‘Critical to reconciliation’: Labor’s plan to close the gap on Indigenous health

Bill Shorten is set to unveil a $115 million plan to tackle the Indigenous health crisis, as he seeks to position Labor as the only party capable of closing the ten-year gap in life expectancy between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians and their non-Indigenous peers.

The package includes $29.6 million to improve mental health and prevent youth suicide, which has rocked communities in remote areas including the Kimberley where a spate of deaths has been linked to intergenerational trauma, violence and poverty.

The Opposition Leader, who is also Labor’s spokesman for Indigenous affairs, will unveil the commitment while on the campaign trail with his assistant spokesman Senator Pat Dodson in the Northern Territory on Thursday.

“Labor believes innovative and culturally appropriate health care models are central to improving the health outcomes of First Australians and closing the gap,” Mr Shorten said, noting that improving Indigenous health was “critical to our journey towards reconciliation”.

Labor’s package is $10 million more than the $19.6 million Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced for Indigenous suicide prevention on Saturday, after the suicide of an 18-year-old girl from the Kimberley last week.

Indigenous health advocates have previously raised concerns that the Coalition’s wider mental health package could be consumed by “mainstream” services like Headspace.

Mr Shorten highlighted Labor would be funding programs “co-designed with and led by First Nations peoples – driven by the Aboriginal health workforce”.

The Labor plan is to administer the mental health funds through Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services, which employ teams of paediatricians, child psychologists, social workers, mental health nurses and Aboriginal health practitioners in vulnerable communities.

Official statistics show a ten-year gap in life expectancy between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians, with the rate of preventable hospital admissions and deaths three times higher for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Labor’s Indigenous health plan, which would be delivered over four years, also includes $33 million to address rheumatic heart disease, a preventable cause of heart failure, death and disability which is common in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Sexual health promotion would get a $20 million boost, while $13 million would be invested to tackle preventable eye diseases and blindness.

The Deadly Choices campaign would get $16.5 million for advertising to raise awareness of health and lifestyle choices and $3 million in seed funding provided to Aboriginal Medical Services to develop health and justice programs addressing the link between incarceration and poor health.

Mr Shorten said Labor would reinstate the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Equality Council, abolished by the Abbott Government in 2014.

Crisis support can be found at Lifeline: (13 11 14 and lifeline.org.au), the Suicide Call Back Service (1300 659 467 and suicidecallbackservice.org.au) and beyondblue (1300 224 636 and beyondblue.org.au) Or 1 of 302 ACCHO Clinics 

NACCHO Aboriginal Health @IndigenousPHAA #Prevention : Download @_PHAA_ Report : Saving lives a million at a time: Australia’s #top10publichealth successes over the last 20 years

As we edge closer to the federal election, it’s critical our parties consider what public health successes we must achieve next, and how they can lead on issues such as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health, obesity, nutrition, environmental and ecological issues such as climate change, and advancing health equity.”

PHAA CEO Terry Slevin

Today the Public Health Association Australia (PHAA) launched its new report, the Top 10 Public Health Successes Over the Last 20 Years at Australian Parliament House.

PHAA CEO Terry Slevin stated, “Public health initiatives have prevented an extraordinary amount of ill health and death in our communities – there is a saying in our field that nurses and doctors save lives, and public health professionals also save lives – they just do so a million at a time.”

The report has been compiled by Australia’s leading public health experts, and the top ten achievements are presented in no particular order as they are all considered to have been of equal importance to Australian public health.

The top ten public health successes include:

  • Folate: reduced neural tube defects
  • Immunisation and eliminating infectious disease
  • Containing the spread of HPV and its related cancers
  • Oral health: reduced dental decay
  • Reduced incidence of skin cancer
  • Tobacco control: reduced deaths caused by smoking
  • Reduced the road death and injury toll
  • Gun control: reduced gun deaths in Australia
  • Contained the spread of HIV
  • Prevented deaths from bowel and breast cancer

Download the PHAA report HERE 

PHAA Top 10 Public Health Successes_FINAL

“This report paints a clear picture of exactly which programs and initiatives have had the greatest impact – from cancer screening to vaccines, from road safety to tobacco control. These have all saved thousands of lives and protected the health of millions of Australians.”

“Public health is about preventing or minimising harm – it is always better than cure. We aim to intervene before illness, death or injury occurs, creating safe and healthy environments for all Australians. This is why in public health, we’re for birthdays,” Mr Slevin said.

“We aspire to give Australians more birthdays (five more for each person is our starting goal) and other important celebrations – weddings, births, graduations – all of the significant milestones we value in life. Perhaps most importantly, we want Australians to be healthy enough to really enjoy these extra years and milestones,” Mr Slevin said.

“So the next question we ask is, who will be the policy leaders and decision makers to help us achieve this aspiration? The report acknowledges key decision makers at the federal, state and territory government levels who were instrumental in making the top ten public health successes happen.”

“As we edge closer to the federal election, it’s critical our parties consider what public health successes we must achieve next, and how they can lead on issues such as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health, obesity, nutrition, environmental and ecological issues such as climate change, and advancing health equity.”

The UK has just released a new preventive health vision statement proving that western conservative governments can prioritise prevention. This is key not just because it is the most effective form of public health practice, but also the most economically sound.

“Preventive public health measures are often cheap to implement and more than pay for themselves through reduced health care costs and increased productivity through keeping people out of hospitals.”

“Public health investment in Australia currently amounts to less than 2% of the national health budget, and has been generally declining since at least 2001. It is essential we allocate adequate resources to public health programs and initiatives to build a healthier population, stem the tide of chronic disease that is enveloping the nation, and reduce future health expenditure,” Mr Slevin said.

“We owe it to ourselves and to our children to look back in twenty years’ time and say we did all we could.”

NACCHO Aboriginal #SexualHealth #UandMeCanStopHIV Check out #ACCHO Events this week @atsihaw and we cover Minister @KenWyattMP Launches new TV and Social Media campaign to tackle First Nations #HIV

 

” A new television, social media and community campaign has been launched during Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander HIV Awareness Week, to increase understanding of HIV and reduce new cases among First Nations people.

Part of a $3.4 million project funded by the Federal Government, through the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI), the campaign aims to capitalise on a reduction in new HIV diagnoses last year.”

To view or download the new campaign resources visit see link below 

Check out over NACCHO 40 Aboriginal Sexual Health Articles like this HERE 

 “ Each year in the first week of December, to coincide with World AIDS Day, we host Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander HIV Awareness Week – “ATSIHAW”.

The inaugural ATSIHAW was held in November 2014 to get a conversation going in our community about HIV prevention and the importance of regular testing for HIV.

The theme of ATSIHAW is “U AND ME CAN STOP HIV”.

ATSIHAW has proven itself to be a popular event – engaging our communities, as well as HIV researchers, doctors, health workers and policy-makers. Each year ATSIHAW events that aim to promote awareness of HIV are run in local community based organisations. Engagement is continuing to grow with the number of events reaching over 60 during the week of ATSIHAW in 2016.

ATSIHAW 2018 will run from 27 November to 1 December 2018, with the official launch at Parliament House, Canberra, on 27 November 2018. Senator Dean Smith hosted the launch, in his capacity as Chair of the Parliamentary Liaison Group on HIV/AIDS, Blood Borne Viruses and Sexually Transmitted Diseases.” 

ATSIHAW community events and activities are held across Australia

See full list of events below or HERE 

The campaign has First Nations voices and people speaking directly to First Nations people – communicating with cultural understanding, to help ensure these lifesaving messages get through.

To view or download the new campaign resources visit https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCizXGcmiz9tKjrf6BvdMlOQ 

In 2017 there were 31 new HIV cases diagnosed in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people – 30 per cent less than in 2016 – but HIV among First Australians remains too high.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are disproportionately affected by HIV and other sexually transmitted infections.

At 4.6 cases per 100,000, the per capita rate of HIV infection last year was still 1.6 times the rate for the non-Indigenous Australian-born population.

Although the majority of HIV cases in First Australians are in men who have sex with men, compared to other Australians, First Nations people are six times as likely to contract HIV as a result of injecting drugs, and more likely to contract it from heterosexual sex.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are also more likely to have undiagnosed HIV.

This is particularly concerning as international evidence shows that people diagnosed with HIV who receive appropriate treatment can reduce HIV to levels so low that it is undetectable.

This reduces the risk of transmission significantly. This is known as ‘Treatment as Prevention’, and it is essential that it is better promoted and understood in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

VIEW HERE

As well as the SAHMRI education campaign, our Government is funding awareness raising about the use of HIV medicines to prevent HIV transmission – known as Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis, or PrEP.

We have committed $1.2 million over five years for education and awareness activities about PrEP for both doctors and other prescribers, and affected communities, including First Australians.

Since April, PrEP had been available through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, making it affordable for all. If taken daily, PrEP has been shown to be highly effective in protecting people from contracting HIV.

The Government will provide an estimated $180 million a year in subsidies for PrEP to reduce HIV, especially among First Australians, some migrant groups, and gay and bisexual men.

To continue the fight against HIV – among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and across the whole country – we will shortly be announcing new national Blood Borne Viruses and Sexually Transmissible Infections strategies.

To view or download the new campaign resources visit https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCizXGcmiz9tKjrf6BvdMlOQ 

ACT

NATSISN (National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Staff Network)

HIV and community – Awareness event
26 Nov – 3 Dec
Department of Health foyer
51 Ellerston Ave
Isabella Plains ACT 2905

Contact: Kartika Medcraft kartika.medcraft@health.gov.au
Awareness of rise of HIV/ STI in indigenous community, local services and prevention campaigns


Winnunga Nimmityjah Aboriginal Health and Community Services

Community BBQ
3-Dec
Winnunga Aboriginal Health Service
63 Boolimba Cres
Narrabundah ACT 2604

HIV Awareness

Contact: Christine Saddler, christine.saddler@winnunga.org.au

New South Wales

Aboriginal Health & Medical Research Council of New South Wales (AH&MRC)

Redfern AMS
28 Nov – 5 Dec at Redfern AMS
U and Me can stop HIV

Raising awareness, treatment and support options for clients and families

Contact: Sophie Scobie: sscobie@ahmrc.org.au


Aboriginal Health & Medical Research Council of New South Wales (AH&MRC)

Rural Doctors Network

28 Nov – 5 Dec Rural Doctors Network – Conf. stall
U and Me can stop HIV
Raising awareness, treatment and support options for clients and families to GPs

Contact: Angela Draper adraper@ahmrc.org.au


Aboriginal Health & Medical Research Council of New South Wales (AH&MRC) – Tharawal AMS

U and Me can stop HIV
28 Nov – 5 Dec Tharawal AMS

Raising awareness, treatment and support options for clients and families

Contact: Pauline Weldon-bowen pbowen@ahmrc.org.au


Albury Community Health

596 Smollett Street Albury NSW 2640

STIGMA Performance
8-Dec 7:20pm
Hothouse Theatre

Examining the prejudices, discrimination and stigma experiences by people living with HIV

Contact: Helen Best helen.best@awh.org.au


Bega Sexual Health Clinic (SERH, SNSWLH)

4 Virginia Drive Beg NSW 2550

You and Me can Stop HIV
29 and 30 November 10:00 – 2:00
SERH foyer and Bega AMS Katungul waiting room

Promote HIV prevention, testing and treatment
HIV prevention, safe sex promotion, promote HIV testing. Promote awareness of HIV treatment to prevent transmission and PeP and PrEP

Contact: Fiona Mckenna fiona.mckenna@health.nsw.gov.au


Griffith Community Health Centre Sexual Health

39 Yambil Street Griffith NSW 2680

World AIDS Day community Event
1-Dec 6:30pm – 8:30pm
Memorial Gardens Griffith

Remembrance and raising awareness of stigma of positive people. Community engagement and prevention, testing and treatment of HIV in the local region
Contact: Sally Davoren sally.davoren@health.nsw.gov.au


HARP Unit M & SNSW LHD

Level 3, 34 Lowe Street Queanbeyan NSW 2620

Displays and Information Stalls – U and Me can stop HIV, come have a yarn
10am – 2pm on 23 Nov – 30 Nov
Queanbeyan Hospital Foyer and Goulburn Community Health Centre.

Prevention, testing and treatment and information of HIV to local community members and health care workers. 
Discussions on our free and confidential services in the local area which offers, information, screening, treatment and support

Contact: Kevin Schamburg  kevin.schamburg@health.nsw.gov.au


Illawara Aboriginal Medical Service

2/30 Princess highway Dapto NSW 2530

U and Me can stop HIV BBQ
29-Nov at Illawarra Aboriginal Medical Service (Wollongong)

Raising awareness, treatment and support options for clients and families

Contact: Debbie Gaudie dgaudie@illawarraamd.com.au


MLHD Brookong Centre Sexual Health

79 Brookong Avenue Wagga Wagga NSW 2650

Distribution to local Aboriginal services during week
26 Nov – 31 Nov at local Aboriginal and youth based services
That as a community we can all do our part in ending HIV as well as show our support for people living with HIV

Contact: Janine Sutton janine.sutton@health.nsw.gov.au


Aboriginal Health Goulburn

Aunty Jeans Goulburn
6-Dec 10:00am – 2:00pm
Bourke Street Health Service

HIV prevention and awareness for the local Aboriginal community

Contact: Rick Shipp richard.shipp@health.nsw.gov.au


Orange Aboriginal Medical Service

27-31 Perc Griffith Way Orange NSW 2800

HIV awareness week
28 Nov – 5 Dec
Orange Aboriginal Medical Service

Get tested more treatment options

Contact: Michael Halls michaelh@oams.net.au


Riverina Aboriginal Medical & Dental Corp

14 Trail Street Wagga Wagga NSW 2650

Yandarra
11-Nov 8:30 – 4:00
Jack mission Oval, Ashmont

Caring for our community for 30 years

Contact: Latoya Terry latoya.terry@rivmed.org


SNSWLHD – Eurobodalla

2 River street Moruya NSW 2537

1 December from 9:00 – 1:00
Batemans Bay and Moruya WAD Roadshow

Promotion and availability of HIV testing and treatment services in Eurobodalla 

Contact: Will Hooke william.hooke@health.nsw.gov.au


South East Regional Hospital, Health NSW

4 Virginia Drive Bega NSW 2550

Awareness of HIV
1-Dec 9:00am
Foyer of hospital

Heighten awareness

Contact: Jo Donovan, joanne.donovan@health.nsw.gov.au


Yoorana Gunya Aboriginal Family Healing Centre

40-70 Church Street Forbes NSW 2871

Health Awareness Day
14-Nov Main Street, Forbes
Knowledge of what testing can be done for HIV? AIDS and treatment

Contact: Deanne Anderson dee@yooranagunya.com.au

Northern Territory

Marthakal Homelands Health Service

World AIDS Day
1-Dec at Mapurrui Health Clinic

We want to tell people about HIV – encourage testing & promote prevention

Contact: Peter Malavisi: health.manager@marthakal.org


Royal Darwin Hospital – SHBBVU

Royal Darwin Hospital, Tiwi NT

Raising Awareness among community and staff around reducing the risk of infection.
29th Nov from 10am – 12:00pm at the Royal Darwin Hospital

Contact: Letishia Parter: letihsia.parter@nt.gov.au


Royal Darwin Hospital – SHBBVU

Royal Darwin Hospital, Tiwi NT

ATSIHAW BBQ 

Raising Awareness
Friday 30th Nov 7am- 9am – Casuarina shopping centre (Woolworth’s side under the carpark)
The Darwin Sexual Health Blood Borne Virus Unit will have an ATSIHAW BBQ in the Casuarina shopping centre carpark with the Larrakia Nations HEAL program for the homeless from 7am-9am. 
Come along learn about HIV and grab some free ATSIHAW merchandise.

Contact: Letishia Parter: letihsia.parter@nt.gov.au


Central Australian Aboriginal Congress

32 Priest Street Alice Springs NT 870

Health Promotion event 
30-Nov 10:00am
Congress main clinic

Safe sex, preventative programs and health promotion including other services

Contact: Natalee Norsworthy: natalee.norsworthy@caac.org.au

Queensland

Gar’ban’djee’lum Network

Brown Sugar
30-Nov 7:00pm til late
Australian National Hotel, 867 Stanley St, Woolloongabba QLD 4102
Raise awareness of HIV/AIDS and positive sexual health. 
Condoman and Lubelicious will be handing out condom and lube packs

Contact: ddtat64@gmail.com


 Giradula

 

50 George Street Bowen QLD

Together as a community we can stop HIV
29-Nov at Collinsville Town Park
To encourage all of community to be aware of HIV and how as a community we can stop HIV

Contact: Leanne Prise: lprise@girudala.com.au


Giradula

50 George Street Bowen QLD

Together as a community we can stop HIV
27-Nov at Proserpine Town Park

To encourage all of community to be aware of HIV and how as a community we can stop HIV

Contact: Leanne Prise: lprise@girudala.com.au


Mamu Health Service 23 Glady Street Innisfail QLD

HIV awareness week 
7-Dec at Main Clinic, Innisfail

Keep you clean, palya, Keep you safe

Contact: Teayana Salter: tsalter@mamuhsl.org.au


Giradula, Bowen QLD

Together as a community we can stop HIV
28-Nov at Bowen Town Square

To encourage all of community to be aware of HIV and how as a community we can stop HIV

Contact: Leanne Prise: lprise@girudala.com.au


Mens and Womens Health Torres NPA

WAD Ball
1-Dec evening
Thursday Island Bowling Club

To inform and educate the indigenous and non-indigenous people living in the Torres Strait communities about the risks involved with unsafe sex, having more than one partner and the importance of regular screening and testing. We need to let the community know about the importance of knowledge and understanding in regard to sexual health, also the Men’s and Women’s health staff will be promoting HIV Awareness Week leading up to world AIDS day

Contact: Sandra or Richard: sandra.gregson@health.qld.au or Richard.Mola@health.qld.gov.au

South Australia

Aboriginal Health Council of SA

220 Franklin Street Adelaide SA 5000

HIV is Everybodys business!
You and me can stop HIV
Information Stall 28 Nov – 5 Dec all day
Reception area of Aboriginal Health Council of SA

Contact: Sarah Betts: sarah.betts@ahcsa.org


Ceduna Koonibba Aboriginal Health Service

1 Eyre Highway Ceduna SA 5690

CKAHSAC HIV awareness day
HIV day 22-Nov 10:30am – 1:00pm

Contact: Con Miller con.miller2@ckahsac.org.au


Drug and Alcohol Services SA

91 Magill Road Stepney SA 5069

ATSIHAW promotion through our clean needle exchange program 
26-Nov from 9:00am  at 91 Magill Road Stepney 
Promoting ATSIHAW to all clean needle program clients, making them aware of the importance of the week

Contact: Kendall Robertson kendall.robertson@sa.gov.au


Nunkuwarrin Yunti

182 – 190 Wakefield St Adelaide SA 5000

ATSIHIV awareness week 
31 Nov – 4 Dec 9:00am – 5:00pm at Nunkuwarrin Yunti Health Service 
You and Me can stop HIV

Contact: Jorge Carvajal jorgec@nunku.org.au


Pangula Mannamurna Aboriginal Corporation

191 Commercial St West Mt Gambier SA 5291

Community Awareness 28 Nov – 5 Dec 9am – 5pm 
Pangula Mannamurna reception area and clinic treatment room 
By getting information out to all community in the hope to raise awareness and start the conversation

Contact: Narelle Winterfield narelle@pangula.org.au


Pika Wiya

40-44 Dartmouth Street Pt Augusta SA 5700

Lets talk about HIV
28-Nov Pika Wiya Health Service – Well Womens House
A lot of education on HIV, risk what treatment, STI’s, give out pamphlets

Contact: Kerryn Dadleh kerryn.dadleh@pikawiya.org.au


SAMESH

57 Hyde street Adelaide SA 5000

ATSIHAW Red Ribbon Appeal
28-Nov 7:00am – 9:00am
Adelaide Railway Station and Tram stops 
Aboriginal people are effected by HIV percentage wise more than the rest of the population.

Contact: Daniel Jeffries daniel.jeffries@samesh.org.au


SIN

220 South Rd Mile End SA 5031

HIV awareness week at SIN 
28 Nov – 5 Dec daily 
HIV awareness, decreasing stigma

Contact: street@sin.org.au


Tullawon

303 Tullawon Square, Yalata Community Ceduna SA 5690

HIV awareness day 
10-Dec Yalata Clinic 
With HIV awareness we can prevent disease prevalence

Contact: Natasha Desai natashad@tullawon.org.au


Nungay Night 2018 – Get your Glitter on Gurl

Saturday 24th November 2018 at Chateau Apollo, 74 Frome Street, Adelaide

Black n Deadly Live Acts, food, drinks, laughs, DJ
Special guests, door prizes and silent auction
Due to Adult Themes, the event is 16+

Order your tickets here:  https://www.feast.org.au/events/nungay-night/

Victoria

Mallee District Aboriginal Services (MDAS)

9 Nolan Street Kerang VIC 3579

HIV Awareness and Support Services
U and Me can stop HIV BBQ Event 
30-Nov 11:30am at MDAS Kerang

Contact: Melanie Lane mlane@mdas.org.au


Mallee District Aboriginal Services (MDAS)

70 Nyah Road Swan Hill VIC 3585

HIV statistics and stigma, sexual health and support services
U and me, HIV community BBQ 
30-Nov 12:00pm at MDAS Community Hall

Contact: Djallarna Hamilton dhamilton@mdas.org.au


Victorian Aboriginal Health Service

186 Nicholson Street Fitzroy VIC 3065

HIV & AIDS Awareness day 
30-Nov 9:00 – 5:00 at VAHS Medical clinic 
Fitzroy HIV and awareness information

Contact: Jermaine Charles jermaine.charles@vahs.org.au


Thorne Harbour Health

Level 5, 615 St Kilda road Melbourne VIC

HIV awareness 
30-Nov 11:00 – 1:00 at Dandenong Aboriginal Health Service 
Be aware of the rising rates of HIV in the Aboriginal community and the new options for prevention, care and treatment

Contact: Peter Waples-Crow peter.wapless-crowe@thorneharbour.org

Western Australia

Aboriginal Health Council of WA
450 Beaufort Street Highgate WA

Be STI and BBV free
Encouraging health checks in your people, normalising STI and BBV testing with any presentation, showing the new animation for STI/BBV including what HIV and AIDS is
26/27/28 Nov 9:30 – 10:30 at  AHCWA offices for staff inviting DYHS and MC staff

Contact: Jen Needham jennifer.needham@ahcwa.org


Bega Gambirringu

16-18 Mcdonald Street Kalgoorlie WA 6430

HIV awareness week at Bega
Testing availability at Bega – confidentiality and culturally appropriate
3 – 7 Dec 8:30am – 4:30pm at the Aboriginal Health Service Courtyard at Bega

Contact: Alicia Sheridan alicia.sheridan@bega.org.au


Bega Gambirringu

16 – 18 McDonald Street Kalgoorlie WA 6430

HIV Awareness
10-Nov 8:30am at the Community Health Service HIV awareness within the indigenous community of the goldfields

Contact: Sonia Talamo robert.bell@bega.org.au


DAHS

1 Stanley Street Derby WA 6728

World AIDS Day 
7-Dec 8am – 12:30pm at DAHS waiting room 
World AIDS day messages/ yarning. We can walk hand in hand together

Contact: Theresa Kitaura traceyk@dahs.org.au


Derbal Yerrigan Health Service

156 Wittenoom Street East Perth WA 6004

No shame in getting a test 
19-Nov 12:00pm Derbarl Yerrigan Aboriginal Health Service 
No shame in getting a test

Contact: Jarrod Minnecon jarrod.minniecon@dyhs.org.au


Great southern Aboriginal Health Service

61 Serpentine Road Albany WA 6330

Family Fun Day 
28-Nov 11:00 – 2:00pm at the local Park 
To increase community awareness of HIV and other BBVS and STI’s and to promote safer sex and injecting practices and testing and treatment

Contact: Megan Robson megan.robson@health.wa.gov.au


Nullagine Clinic

Cooke Street Nullagine WA 6758

Random talks at the clinic when people present daily opening hours 
Informal meetings to be held at Nullagine Clinic Screen and stay safe. 
Protection

Contact: Mary Anne Hanson mary-anne.hanson@health.wa.gov.au


Ord Valley Aboriginal Health Service

1125 Ironwood Dr Kununurra WA 6743

Yarning HIV over Billy Tea 
27-Nov tbc at Ski Beach, bush location 
General education regarding HIV/ AIDS – so many young peoople have never hear of HIV much less understand it

Contact: Jane Anglis jane.a@ovahs.org.au


Pilbara Population Health

62 Balmoral Road Karratha WA 6714

School HIV awareness day in class with Girls Academy/ CLONTARF indigenous students at Karratha Senior High School 
The focus will be on de-stigmatising HIV and the testing process. 
How pilbara polulation health has free and easy testing available as well as free access to clean needles and condoms.

Contact: Chantelle Pears chantelle.pears@health.wa.gov.au


WACHS Public Health Karratha Health Campus 

63 Balmoral Road Karratha WA 6714

School Health Promotion 
26-Nov all day School, community HIV education including prevention and safe sex messages

Contact: Jan Marie Grantham jan-marie.grantham@health.wa.gov.au.

NACCHO Aboriginal Health Conferences and events : This week #WorldMentalHealthDay #WMHD2018 #MentalHealthPromise #10OCT This Month : Register and Download #NACCHOagm2018 Oct 30 – Nov 2 Program @hosw2018 #HOSW18 #HealingOurWay @June_Oscar #WomensVoices #IndigBizMth

 

This week 

World Mental Health Day Oct 10

World Mental Health Week Oct 7- 13 

Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander HIV Awareness Week (ATSIHAW) 28th November to 5th December : Expression of Interest open but close 26 October

This Month

NACCHO AGM 2018 Brisbane Oct 30—Nov 2 Registrations now open : Download the Program 

Future events /conferences

Puggy Hunter Memorial Scholarship applications Close October 14 October
National guide to a preventive health assessment for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people (Third edition) Workshop 10 October 

Now open: Aged Care Regional, Rural and Remote Infrastructure Grant opportunity.$500,000  closes 24 October 2018

The fourth annual Indigenous Business Month this year will celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women in business, to coincide with the 2018 NAIDOC theme Because of Her, We Can.

 

Wiyi Yani U Thangani Women’s Voices project. 

2018 International Indigenous Allied Health Forum at the Mercure Hotel, Sydney, Australia on the 30 November 2018

AIDA Conference 2018 Vision into Action

Healing Our Spirit Worldwide
2nd National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention Conference 20-21 November Perth

2019 Close the Gap for Vision by 2020 – National Conference 2019
This week 

This World Mental Health Day – on Wednesday 10 October – will be the biggest yet in Australia, with more than 700 organisations, companies, community groups and charities taking part, as well an official Guinness World Record Attempt in Wagga Wagga to raise awareness and reduce stigma.

The ‘Do You See What I See?’ campaign encourages people to make a #MentalHealthPromise and shed a more positive light on mental health in a bid to reduce stigma for the one in five Australians who are affected by mental illness annually.

More than 700 organisations have engaged with the campaign already this year, which has also seen more than 20,000 mental health promises made by individuals at http://www.1010.org.au .

Five days out from World Mental Health Day itself, on Wednesday 10 October, Mental Health Australia CEO Frank Quinlan says this year’s response has been the biggest ever.

“Year-on-year the interest in World Mental Health Day continues to grow and to me that’s a clear sign that we are reducing stigma, and more and more people are prepared to talk and hopefully seek help,” said Mr. Quinlan.

“We’ve seen a huge increase in the participation of workplaces over the last two years, and have tailored our messaging accordingly to encourage people to shed a more positive light on mental health at work.”

“We know from our recent Investing to Save Report with KPMG that investment in workplace initiatives could save the nation more than $4.5 billion, and to see some of the biggest employers in the country engage with this year’s campaign, is a clear sign that people are becoming more and more aware of just how important it is to look after mental health and wellbeing in the workplace.”

To help celebrate this year’s World Mental Health Day, and to add to the success of the campaign, Mental Health Australia has also linked up with the Wagga Wagga City Council and Bunnings Warehouse to attempt a Guinness World Record for the most number of people wearing high visibility vests in one location.

Aimed to again shed a positive light, and raise the visibility and awareness of mental health in a community, particularly amongst young men, tradies, farmers and their families, the high-viz world record attempt in Wagga on World Mental Health Day has already seen the people of the Riverina come together.

“We often speak about mentally healthy communities and this fun Guinness World Record Attempt has been a great opportunity to engage with, and unite the people of Wagga Wagga for a common goal,” said Mr. Quinlan.

“Thanks to the fantastic support of Bunnings and the Wagga Wagga City Council, as well as 3M and Triple M Riverina, we can’t wait to see a sea of high visibility vests in the Bunnings carpark next Wednesday morning, and who knows we might even break the current record of 2,136.”

To find out more or to register for the Guinness World Record Attempt go to www.1010.org.au/wagga (link is external)

Mental Health Australia would like to thank all the organisations who have shown their support this year and will be helping to raise awareness and reduce stigma next Wednesday 10 October on World Mental Health Day.

To find our more go to www.1010.org.au

Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander HIV Awareness Week (ATSIHAW) 28th November to 5th December : Expression of Interest open but close 26 October

In 2017 we supported more than 60 ACCHS to run community events during ATSIHAW.

We are now seeking final EOIs to host 2018 ATSIHAW Events

EOI’s will remain open until 26th October 2018

ATSIHAW coincides each year with World AIDS Day- our aim is to promote conversation and action around HIV in our communities. Our long lasting theme of ATSIHAW is U AND ME CAN STOP HIV”.

If you would like to host an ATSIHAW event in 2018, please complete the EOI form here Expression of Interest 2018 and then send back to us to at  atsihaw@sahmri.com

Once registered we will send merchandise to your service to help with your event.

For more information about ATSIHAW please visit http://www.atsihiv.org.au/hiv-awareness-week/merchandise/

ATSIHAW on Facebook     https://www.facebook.com/ATSIHAW/

ATSIHAW on Twitter          https://twitter.com/atsihaw

NACCHO AGM 2018 Brisbane Oct 30—Nov 2 Registrations still open

Follow our conference using HASH TAG #NACCHOagm2018

Download Draft Program as at 2 October

NACCHO 7 Page Conference Program 2018_v3

Register HERE

Conference Website Link:

Accommodation Link:                   

The NACCHO Members’ Conference and AGM provides a forum for the Aboriginal community controlled health services workforce, bureaucrats, educators, suppliers and consumers to:

  • Present on innovative local economic development solutions to issues that can be applied to address similar issues nationally and across disciplines
  • Have input and influence from the ‘grassroots’ into national and state health policy and service delivery
  • Demonstrate leadership in workforce and service delivery innovation
  • Promote continuing education and professional development activities essential to the Aboriginal community controlled health services in urban, rural and remote Australia
  • Promote Aboriginal health research by professionals who practice in these areas and the presentation of research findings
  • Develop supportive networks
  • Promote good health and well-being through the delivery of health services to and by Indigenous and non-Indigenous people throughout Australia.

Conference Website Link

Puggy Hunter Memorial Scholarship applications Close October 14 October

The Puggy Hunter Memorial Scholarship Scheme is designed to encourage and assist undergraduate students in health-related disciplines to complete their studies and join the health workforce.

Dr Puggy Hunter was the NACCHO Chair 1991-2001

Puggy was the elected chairperson of the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation, (NACCHO), which is the peak national advisory body on Aboriginal health. NACCHO has a membership of over 144 + Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services and is the representative body of these services. Puggy was the inaugural Chair of NACCHO from 1991 until his death.[1]

Puggy was the vice-chairperson of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Council, the Federal Health Minister’s main advisory body on Aboriginal health established in 1996. He was also Chair of the National Public Health Partnership Aboriginal and Islander Health Working Group which reports to the Partnership and to the Australian Health Ministers Advisory Council. He was a member of the Australian Pharmaceutical Advisory Council (APAC), the General Practice Partnership Advisory Council, the Joint Advisory Group on Population Health and the National Health Priority Areas Action Council as well as a number of other key Aboriginal health policy and advisory groups on national issues.[1]

The scheme provides scholarships for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people studying an entry level health course.

Applications for PHMSS 2019 scholarship round are now open.

Click the button below to start your online application.

Applications must be completed and submitted before midnight AEDT (Sydney/Canberra time) Sunday 14 October 2018. After this time the system will shut down and any incomplete applications will be lost.

Eligible health areas

  • Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander health work
  • Allied health (excluding pharmacy)
  • Dentistry/oral health (excluding dental assistants)
  • Direct entry midwifery
  • Medicine
  • Nursing; registered and enrolled

Eligibility criteria

Applications will be considered from applicants who are:

  • of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander descent
    Applicants must identify as and be able to confirm their Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander status.
  • enrolled or intending to enrol in an entry level or graduate entry level health related course
    Courses must be provided by an Australian registered training organisation or university. Funding is not available for postgraduate study.
  • intending to study in the academic year that the scholarship is offered.

A significant number of applications are received each year; meeting the eligibility criteria will not guarantee applicants a scholarship offer.

Value of scholarship

Funding is provided for the normal duration of the course. Full time scholarship awardees will receive up to $15,000 per year and part time recipients will receive up to $7,500 per year. The funding is paid in 24 fortnightly instalments throughout the study period of each year.

Selection criteria

These are competitive scholarships and will be awarded on the recommendation of the independent selection committee whose assessment will be based on how applicants address the following questions:

  • Describe what has been your driving influence/motivation in wanting to become a health professional in your chosen area.
  • Discuss what you hope to accomplish as a health professional in the next 5-10 years.
  • Discuss your commitment to study in your chosen course.
  • Outline your involvement in community activities, including promoting the health and well-being of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

The scholarships are funded by the Australian Government, Department of Health and administered by the Australian College of Nursing. The scheme was established in recognition of Dr Arnold ‘Puggy’ Hunter’s significant contribution to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and his role as Chair of the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation.

Important links

Links to Indigenous health professional associations

Contact ACN

e scholarships@acn.edu.au
t 1800 688 628

National guide to a preventive health assessment for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people (Third edition) Workshop 10 October 

The RACGP and NACCHO invite you to a workshop to be held prior to GP18, that
will support your practice team to maximise the opportunity for the prevention of
disease at each health service visit.

A National Guide contributor and a cultural educator will discuss how best to utilise
the third edition of the National Guide when providing care for Aboriginal and Torres
Strait Islander people.

The workshop will also include a focus group exploring implementation of the
National Guide in both mainstream and Aboriginal Community Controlled Primary
Health Care Services (ACCHSs), as well as the characteristics of a culturally
responsive general practice.

Program

• Background and purpose of the National Guide
• Features of the National Guide, including:
• Recommendation tables
• Good practice points
• Evidence base
• Lifecycle wall chart
• Putting the National Guide

Date
Wednesday 10 October 2018

Time
Registration and lunch 12.00 pm
Workshop 12.30–4.00 pm

Venue
Jellurgal Aboriginal Cultural Centre
1711 Gold Coast Highway, Burleigh Heads

Cost
Free of charge

RSVP
Friday 5 October 2018

Registration essential

Registration
Email daniela.doblanovic@racgp.org.au
or call Daniela Doblanovic on 03 8699 0528.

We will then contact you to confirm

 

Now open: Aged Care Regional, Rural and Remote Infrastructure Grant opportunity.$500,000  closes 24 October 2018

This grant opportunity is designed to assist existing approved residential and home care providers in regional, rural and remote areas to invest in infrastructure. Commonwealth Home Support Programme services will also be considered, where there is exceptional need. Funding will be prioritised to aged care services most in need and where geographical constraints and significantly higher costs impede services’ ability to invest in infrastructure works.

Up to $500,000 (GST exclusive) will be available per service via a competitive application process.

Eligibility:

To be eligible you must be:

  • an approved residential or home care provider (as defined under the Aged Care Act 1997) or an approved Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP) provider in exceptional circumstances (refer Frequently asked Questions) ; and
  • currently operating an aged care service located in Modified Monash Model Classification 3-7 or if a CHSP provider, the service is located in MMM 6-7. (MMM Locator).

More Info Apply 

The fourth annual Indigenous Business Month this year will celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women in business, to coincide with the 2018 NAIDOC theme Because of Her, We Can.

Throughout October, twenty national Indigenous Business Month events will take place showcasing the talents of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women entrepreneurs from a variety of business sectors. These events aim to ignite conversations about Indigenous business development and innovation, focusing on women’s roles and leadership.

Indigenous Business Month is an initiative driven by the alumni of Melbourne Business School’s MURRA Indigenous Business Master Class, who see business as a way of providing positive role models for young Indigenous Australians and improving quality of life in Indigenous communities.

Since the launch of Indigenous Business Month in 2015, [1] the Indigenous business sector is one of the fastest growing sectors in Australia delivering over $1 billion in goods and services for the Australian economy.

Jason Eades, Director, Consulting at Social Ventures Australia and Indigenous Business Month 2018 host said:

It is a privilege to be involved in Indigenous Business Month, to be able to take the time to celebrate and acknowledge the great achievements of our Indigenous entrepreneurs and their respective businesses. Indigenous entrepreneurs are showing the rest of the world that we can do business and do it well, whilst maintaining our strong cultural values.”

The latest ABS Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey 2014-15 shows that only 51.5 percent of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women participate in the workforce compared to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men at 65 percent.

The Australian Government has invested in a range of initiatives to increase Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women entrepreneurs in the work-placeincluding: [2) Continued funding for girls’ academies in high schools, so that young women can realise their leadership potential, greater access to finance and business support suited to the needs of Indigenous businesses with a focus on Indigenous entrepreneurs and start-ups, and expanding the ParentsNextprogram and Fund pre-employment projects via the new Launch into Work program providing flexibility to meet the specific needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women.

Michelle Evans, MURRA Program Director AND Associate Professor of Leadership at the University of Melbourne said:

The Indigenous Business Month’s aim is to inspire, showcase and engage the Indigenous business community. This year it is more significant than ever to support the female Indigenous business community and provide a platform for them to network and encourage young Indigenous women to consider developing a business as a career option.”

Indigenous Business Month runs from October 1 to October 31. Check out the website for an event near you (spaces are limited).

The initiative is supported by 33 Creative, Asia Pacific Social Impact Centre at the University of Melbourne, Iscariot Media, and PwC.

For more information on Indigenous Business Month visit

·         The Websitewww.indigenousbusinessmonth.com.au

·         Facebook

·         Twitter

·         LinkedIn

Wiyi Yani U Thangani Women’s Voices project.

June Oscar AO and her team are excited to hear from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and girls across the country as a part of the Wiyi Yani U Thangani Women’s Voices project.

Whilst we will not be able to get to every community, we hope to hear from as many women and girls as possible through this process. If we are not coming to your community we encourage you to please visit the Have your Say! page of the website to find out more about the other ways to have your voice included through our survey and submission process.

We will be hosting public sessions as advertised below but also a number of private sessions to enable women and girls from particularly vulnerable settings like justice and care to participate.

Details about current, upcoming and past gatherings appears below, however it is subject to change. We will update this page regularly with further details about upcoming gatherings closer to the date of the events.

Please get in touch with us via email wiyiyaniuthangani@humanrights.gov.au or phone on (02) 9284 9600 if you would like more information.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Pathways borders

Current gatherings

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and girls are invited to register for one of the following gatherings

Pathways borders

Upcoming gatherings

If your community is listed below and you would like to be involved in planning for our visit or would like more information, please write to us at wiyiyaniuthangani@humanrights.gov.au or phone (02) 9284 9600.

Location Dates
Port Headland October 2018
Newman October 2018
Dubbo TBC
Brewarrina TBC
Rockhampton TBC
Longreach TBC
Kempsey TBC

Pathways borders

 

Download HERE

2018 International Indigenous Allied Health Forum at the Mercure Hotel, Sydney, Australia on the 30 November 2018.

This Forum will bring together Indigenous and First Nation presenters and panellists from across the world to discuss shared experiences and practices in building, supporting and retaining an Indigenous allied health workforce.

This full-day event will provide a platform to share information and build an integrated approach to improving culturally safe and responsive health care and improve health and wellbeing outcomes for Indigenous peoples and communities.

Delegates will include Indigenous and First Nation allied health professionals and students from Australia, Canada, the USA and New Zealand. There will also be delegates from a range of sectors including, health, wellbeing, education, disability, academia and community.

MORE INFO 

AIDA Conference 2018 Vision into Action


Building on the foundations of our membership, history and diversity, AIDA is shaping a future where we continue to innovate, lead and stay strong in culture. It’s an exciting time of change and opportunity in Indigenous health.

The AIDA conference supports our members and the health sector by creating an inspiring networking space that engages sector experts, key decision makers, Indigenous medical students and doctors to join in an Indigenous health focused academic and scientific program.

AIDA recognises and respects that the pathway to achieving equitable and culturally-safe healthcare for Indigenous Australians is dynamic and complex. Through unity, leadership and collaboration, we create a future where our vision translates into measureable and significantly improved health outcomes for our communities. Now is the time to put that vision into action.

Registrations Close August 31

Healing Our Spirit Worldwide

Global gathering of Indigenous people to be held in Sydney
University of Sydney, The Healing Foundation to co-host Healing Our Spirit Worldwide
Gawuwi gamarda Healing Our Spirit Worldwidegu Ngalya nangari nura Cadigalmirung.
Calling our friends to come, to be at Healing Our Spirit Worldwide. We meet on the country of the Cadigal.
In November 2018, up to 2,000 Indigenous people from around the world will gather in Sydney to take part in Healing Our Spirit Worldwide: The Eighth Gathering.
A global movement, Healing Our Spirit Worldwidebegan in Canada in the 1980s to address the devastation of substance abuse and dependence among Indigenous people around the world. Since 1992 it has held a gathering approximately every four years, in a different part of the world, focusing on a diverse range of topics relevant to Indigenous lives including health, politics, social inclusion, stolen generations, education, governance and resilience.
The International Indigenous Council – the governing body of Healing Our Spirit Worldwide – has invited the University of Sydney and The Healing Foundation to co-host the Eighth Gathering with them in Sydney this year. The second gathering was also held in Sydney, in 1994.
 Please also feel free to tag us in any relevant cross posting: @HOSW8 @hosw2018 #HOSW18 #HealingOurWay #TheUniversityofSydney

2nd National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention Conference 20-21 November Perth

” The National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention and World Indigenous Suicide Prevention Conference Committee invite and welcome you to Perth for the second National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention Conference, and the second World Indigenous Suicide Prevention Conference.

Our Indigenous communities, both nationally and internationally, share common histories and are confronted with similar issues stemming from colonisation. Strengthening our communities so that we can address high rates of suicide is one of these shared issues. The Conferences will provide more opportunities to network and collaborate between Indigenous people and communities, policy makers, and researchers. The Conferences are unique opportunities to share what we have learned and to collaborate on solutions that work in suicide prevention.

This also enables us to highlight our shared priorities with political leaders in our respective countries and communities.

Conference Website 

2019 Close the Gap for Vision by 2020 – National Conference 2019
Indigenous Eye Health and co-host Aboriginal Medical Services Alliance Northern Territory (AMSANT) are pleased to announce the Close the Gap for Vision by 2020 – National Conference 2019 which will be held in Alice Springs, Northern Territory on Thursday 14 and Friday 15 March 2019 at the Alice Springs Convention Centre.
The 2019 conference will run over two days with the aim of bringing people together and connecting people involved in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander eye care from local communities, ACCOs, health services, non-government organisations, professional bodies and government departments from across the country. We would like to invite everyone who is working on or interested in improving eye health and care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians.
More information available at: go.unimelb.edu.au/wqb6 

NACCHO Aboriginal #SexualHealth News Alert : @sahmriAU #NT #QLD #WA #SA Syphilis outbreak : New #YoungDeadlySyphilisFree TV and Radio campaign launched today 9 September @atsihaw : Plus @researchjames article

 ” SAHMRI launches Phase 2 of its Young Deadly Syphilis Free campaign today, with two new TV commercials screening in syphilis outbreak areas across Queensland the Northern Territory, Western Australia and South Australia. Radio snippets will also be broadcast, in English and local languages.”

Watch here 

No 2 Watch here 

Medical experts describe the top end’s syphilis epidemic as a “failure of public health at every level of government .

As an infectious syphilis epidemic continues to ravage northern Australia – now threatening the lives of newborn babies – Indigenous sexual health specialist James Ward is leading a campaign to help remote communities. By Michele Tydd.

From The Saturday Paper see in full Part 2 Below

Aboriginal #Sexualhealth News : 

NACCHO is co-leading a coordinated Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services (ACCHS) $8.8 million response to address the #syphilis outbreak in Northern Australia. @Wuchopperen @DanilaDilba @TAIHS__

Read over 40 Aboriginal Sexual Health articles published over past 6 years

Part 1 : The TV and radio syphilis campaign will build on messaging developed for Phase 1 of the campaign, which ran until March this year.

Once again the campaign will be strongly supported by social media, with regular Facebook posts, Divas Chat advertising  and promotion on our website www.youngdeadlyfree.org.au featuring all new video clips and infographics.

The campaign promotes whole communities’ involvement in tackling syphilis as a public health issue along with other STIs, and has involved young people, clinicians and people of influence such as parents and extended family members/carers.

New clinician resources for those practising in remote communities will also be developed over the next year, promoting appropriate testing to those most at risk, including testing of antenatal women during pregnancy.

Have a look at the TV commercials and a couple of the new short videos by clicking the images below OR access them on the syphilis outbreak webpages at http://youngdeadlyfree.org.au/

Problems downloading the videos?

Contact SAHMRI at kathleen.brodie@sahmri.com for a USB containing Young Deadly Syphilis Free videos, as well as STI and BBV resources developed for the Remote STI and BBV Project – Young Deadly Free; and HIV resources developed for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander HIV Awareness Week – ATSIHAW.

Phase 1 Rescreened

No 2 Watch Here 

The Young Deadly Syphilis Free campaign is funded by the Australian Government Department of Health.

Part 2 As an infectious syphilis epidemic continues to ravage northern Australia – now threatening the lives of newborn babies – Indigenous sexual health specialist James Ward is leading a campaign to help remote communities.

By Michele Tydd

While the federal government committed $8.8 million this year to fight an ongoing syphilis epidemic sweeping Australia’s top end, many prominent sexual health physicians and academics claim the money is too little too late.

From The Saturday Paper 

“Every day there are more cases, so we are not seeing a downward trend yet,” says Dr Manoji Gunathilake, who heads up a government-run health service known as Clinic 34.

Gunathilake is the Northern Territory’s only specialist sexual health physician. She says local health workers are ramping up testing as part of a fight to contain the infection, which particularly affects young sexually active Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders in the territory. However, it seems those measures are struggling to contain the STI’s spread.

Nearly seven years ago, an increase in syphilis notifications showed up in north-west Queensland. The outbreak soon moved across to the NT, then to Western Australia and more recently into South Australia. So far, more than 2100 cases – evenly split between males and females – have been recorded across the affected zones.

However, the key concern for health-care professionals is the potential health consequences for babies born to women with the infection. Syphilis is primarily spread through sexual contact, but it can also be passed from mother to baby. Since 2011, six babies have died from congenital syphilis – the latest death came in January this year in northern Queensland. The STI also carries antenatal risks, increasing the chance of miscarriage and stillbirth.

Darren Russell, a Cairns-based associate professor of medicine at both James Cook University and the University of Melbourne, has been working in sexual health for 25 years. He describes the top end’s syphilis epidemic as a “failure of public health at every level of government”.

He says he’s not sure whether the outbreak could have been prevented entirely. However, he believes there was an opportunity for public health officials to stop it from escalating.

“The first case occurred in the Gulf country of north-west Queensland in January 2012 and the first Northern Territory cases weren’t found until July 2013,” says Russell. “There was a window of opportunity in 2012 to work with the affected local communities and to fly in extra nurses, doctors and Indigenous health workers to do some good culturally appropriate health promotion. But nothing at all happened, absolutely nothing as the epidemic spread.

“The first Queensland state funding to deal with the now widespread epidemic was rolled out in 2016, more than five years after the epidemic began, and the first Commonwealth money has only been allocated this year.”

Russell says he could not imagine the same happening if a deadly epidemic broke out in a major city.

“For years now a multijurisdictional syphilis outbreak committee has been coordinating the response largely without additional resourcing to reach people most at risk,” says Associate Professor James Ward, an Indigenous researcher and sexual health specialist who heads the Aboriginal infection and immunity program at SAHMRI (the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute) in Adelaide. Ward has been working behind the scenes for years, trying to bring more attention and funding to this outbreak.

“Workforce is certainly an issue because syphilis is an infection that not many clinicians have been exposed to in clinical practice and this is further exacerbated by a high turnover of staff in remote communities,” he says. “Community awareness and understanding of the infection has been very low, so we have been recently trying to get the message out on the internet and social media”.

The multi-strategy STI awareness-raising campaign urging people to be tested is targeted at the 30,000 young people aged between 15 and 34 in affected outbreak areas through the website youngdeadlyfree.org.au/syphilis as well as a dedicated Facebook page.

“We’ve also been tapping into online chat programs young people are using in remote areas such as Diva Chat,” says Ward.

Since the 1940s, penicillin has been used to successfully treat the syphilis infection, although people can become reinfected. While deaths in adults are now rare, the consequences can be dire for babies born to mothers who have been infected at some stage either before or during the pregnancy.

“There is a wide range of quite sinister pathology in babies born with syphilis,” says Professor Basil Donovan of the Kirby Institute at the University of New South Wales, who has been treating syphilis cases for nearly four decades.

Some babies are merely snuffly and miserable, sometimes with heavily blood-stained nasal discharge. Others can suffer neurological damage and bone deformities that can cause great pain when they move their limbs.

Donovan says that, for the past 60 years, every pregnant woman in Australia should have been routinely tested for syphilis. “The big difference between adults and babies is that all the damage is done before they are born,” he says. “If there is more syphilis about, then catastrophe becomes inevitable.”

Syphilis, caused by the bacteria Treponema pallidum, is an infection primarily spread through unprotected vaginal, anal or oral sex.

The first sign in adults is most likely a painless sore on the skin, normally where the bacteria has entered the body during sexual intercourse – in the genital area or in the mouth.

Secondary syphilis occurs about six weeks later with symptoms that include a general feeling of being unwell, a rash on the hands, feet or other parts of the body. Soft lumps might also develop on the warm, moist areas of the body such as the genitals and around the anus. Symptoms can often be dismissed as being due to flu or cold.

Outward symptoms of secondary syphilis, such as the initial sores, will disappear without treatment, but the person affected will still have latent syphilis.

The third stage, known as early and late latent syphilis, which may develop any time between one and 30 years later, can seriously affect the brain, spinal cord or heart and – rarely now – can lead to death.

“Before penicillin, syphilis was a terrible way to die,” says Donovan. “In about a third of those who contracted it, it would go on to cause serious neurological or brain disease, spinal disease or heart problems particularly with the aorta.

“That said, even now one in about 30 per cent who get syphilis will get some neurological disease. All of us clinicians have got patients who might have lost sight in one eye or gone deaf in one ear as a result.”

Donovan stresses the current outbreak in the top end has nothing to do with sexual behaviour. “[Residents in these regions] have the same number of partners [as the broader population] so very high levels of STIs including syphilis are more the result of failure in health-care delivery,” he says.

Gunathilake says the NT has seen more than 800 cases of infectious syphilis since the outbreak began. She wants to help build an educated and stable workforce, especially to support the remote clinicians.

“In these remote areas health-care workers don’t tend to say for long periods so it’s important to train and update new staff members quickly,” she says.

Work is also being done in community engagement by producing promotional material in several Indigenous languages to help people better understand the importance of testing and treatment as well as tracing and informing sexual partners.

“Going home and passing on the diagnosis to sexual partners is very difficult for anybody and much more challenging in any close-knit community,” says Gunathilake.

“Many people regardless of background feel ashamed about having STIs and they don’t want to tell anyone, so it is a psychological burden, but our staff are trained to help people in this situation.”

She says contact tracing can be more difficult for people who have casual or anonymous partners. Gay men are represented in the NT outbreak, but only in relatively small numbers.

A spokeswoman for the federal government says the first round of the federal money has gone to three urban Aboriginal health-care centres in Cairns, Darwin and Townsville, which will roll out a new “test and treat” model at the point of care.

The next phase of funding is expected to be directed at remote communities.

There is no indication when this outbreak will start to retract, says Basil Donovan, who was working as a doctor during the AIDS epidemic in the late 1980s. This is because once STIs outbreaks take off, they don’t just cycle through like a flu epidemic. “It takes at least five to 10 years to get a major outbreak under control, and part of that involves a permanent [health-care] workforce to develop trust,” he says. “People flying in and flying out won’t even touch the sides.”

This article was first published in the print edition of The Saturday Paper on Sep 8, 2018 as “Into the outbreak”. Subscribe here.