NACCHO Aboriginal Health supports the @Lungfoundation first ever Australia-wide #Indigenous Lung Health Checklist

cfree

 

 ” Lung Foundation Australia in collaboration with the Queensland Government’s Indigenous Respiratory Outreach Care Program (IROC) have developed the Checklist specifically for the Indigenous community.

It only takes a few minutes to answer 8 questions that could save your or a loved one’s life.

It can be completed on a mobile phone, tablet or computer.

indigenous_lunghealthchecklist_page_2

The Indigenous Lung Health Checklist is narrated by the Lung Foundation’s Ambassador and Olympic Legend Cathy Freeman.

Read or Download the PDF Brochure

indigenous_lunghealthchecklist

Please go to the site as Indigenous peoples are almost twice as likely to die from a lung-related condition than non-Indigenous Australians.

# Indigenous Lung Health Checklist at

http://indigenouslungscheck.lungfoundation.com.au/.

NACCHO Aboriginal Health and #Smoking : Pack warning labels help Aboriginal smokers butt out

166824-new-cigarette-packets

Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services across 140 health settings are helping smokers in our communities to quit.

Pack warning labels are also an important element as smokers read, think about and discuss large, prominent and  graphic labels.

This comprehensive approach works to reduce Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander smoking and the harm it causes in our communities,’

Matthew Cooke from the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO).

Pack warning labels are motivating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander smokers to quit smoking according to new research released by Menzies School of Health Research (Menzies) today.

The study has shown that graphic warning labels not only motivate quit attempts but increase Indigenous smokers’ awareness of the health issues caused by smoking.

Forming part of the national Talking About The Smokes study led by Menzies in partnership with Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services, the 642 study participants completed baseline surveys and follow-up surveys a year later.

The study found that 30% of Indigenous smokers at baseline said that pack warning labels had stopped them having a smoke when they were about to smoke.

Study leader, Menzies’ Professor David Thomas said, ‘This reaction rose significantly among smokers who were exposed to plain packaging for the first time during the period of research. The introduction of new and enlarged warning labels on plain packs had a positive impact upon Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander smokers.’

Professor David Thomas, explained the significance of this finding, ‘Reacting to warning labels by forgoing a cigarette may not seem like much on its own. However, forgoing cigarettes due to warning labels was associated with becoming more concerned about the health consequences of smoking, developing an interest in quitting and attempting to quit. This is significant for our understanding of future tobacco control strategies.’

In addition, Indigenous smokers who said at baseline they often noticed warning labels on their packs were 80% more likely to identify the harms of smoking that have featured on warning labels.

Just under two in five (39%) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 and over smoke daily. Smoking is responsible for 23% of the health gap between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and other Australians.

In 2012, pack warning labels in Australia were increased in size to 75% on the front of all packs and 90% of the back at the same time as tobacco plain packaging was introduced.

The study was funded by the Australian Government Department of Health and published in the Nicotine & Tobacco Research journal and available at:

http://ntr.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2017/01/08/ntr.ntw396.full.pdf+html.

Summary of findings
  • The research is part of the Talking About the Smokes study http://www.menzies.edu.au/page/Research/Projects/Smoking/Talking_About_the_Smokes/
  • A total of 642 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander smokers completed surveys at baseline (April 2012-October 2013) and follow-up (August 2013-August 2014)
  • At baseline, 66% of smokers reported they had often noticed warning labels in the past month, 30% said they had stopped smoking due to warning labels in the past month and 50% perceived that warning labels were somewhat or very effective to help them quit or stay quit
  • At follow-up, an increase in stopping smoking due to warning labels was found only those first surveyed before plain packaging was introduced (19% vs 34%, p=0.002), but not for those surveyed during the phase-in period (34% vs 37%, p=0.8) or after it was mandated (35% vs 36%, p=0.7). There were no other differences in reactions to warning labels according to time periods associated with plain packaging.
  • Smokers who reported they had stopped smoking due to warning labels in the month prior to baseline had 1.5 times the odds of quitting when compared with those who reported never doing so or never noticing labels (AOR: 1.45, 95% CI: 1.02-2.06, p=0.04), adjusting for other factors.
  • Smokers who reported they had often noticed warning labels on their packs at baseline had 1.8 times the odds of correctly responding to five questions about the health effects of smoking that had featured on packs (AOR: 1.84, 95% CI: 1.20-2.82, p=0.006), but not those that had not featured on packs (AOR: 1.03, 95%CI 0.73-1.45, p=0.9) when compared to smokers who did not often notice warning labels.

NACCHO Advertisement

nhn

NACCHO has announced the publishing date for the 9 th edition of Australia’s first national health Aboriginal newspaper, the NACCHO Health News .

Publish date 6 April 2017

Working with Aboriginal community controlled and award-winning national newspaper the Koori Mail, NACCHO aims to bring relevant advertising and information on health services, policy and programs to key industry staff, decision makers and stakeholders at the grassroots level.

And who writes for and reads the NACCHO Newspaper ?

km-kw

While NACCHO’s websites ,social media and annual report have been valued sources of information for national and local Aboriginal health care issues for many years, the launch of NACCHO Health News creates a fresh, vitalised platform that will inevitably reach your targeted audiences beyond the boardrooms.

NACCHO will leverage the brand, coverage and award-winning production skills of the Koori Mail to produce a 24 page three times a year, to be distributed as a ‘lift-out’ in the 14,000 Koori Mail circulation, as well as an extra 1,500 copies to be sent directly to NACCHO member organisations across Australia.

Our audited readership (Audit Bureau of Circulations) is 100,000 readers

For more details rate card

Contact : Colin Cowell Editor

Mobile : 0401 331 251

Email  : nacchonews@naccho.org.au

 

 

NACCHO Aboriginal Male Health : How Redfern’s Sol Bellear prevented a massive life-threatening heart attack

sol-4-copy

 ” I’ve been part of campaigns urging Aboriginal men to lead healthy lifestyles and get regular medical checks, but I didn’t follow my own advice.

If there’s one legacy I leave, I want it to be that Aboriginal men more regularly present for check-ups.”

“We need to take responsibility. We owe this to our families and our communities. We don’t need to keep dying too early from preventable heart disease.”

As the long-term Chair of the Aboriginal Medical Service and a Board member since 1975, Sol didn’t practice what he preached when it came to his own health.

Originally published by Our Mob 22 Dec 2017

Watch recent NACCHO TV Interview with Sol Bellear

All images in this story: Courtesy of the Bellear family

Land Rights legend Sol Bellear considers himself one of the lucky ones.

A decision Sol made some nine months ago to lead a healthier lifestyle not only saved his life but made him more determined to lead the campaign for men’s health.

A few months before he was to die from a massive heart attack, Sol decided to change his life.

While driving back together from a New South Wales Aboriginal Land Council (NSWALC) meeting in West Wyalong, Sol’s colleague, Acting CEO, Cal Davis told him about a diet he had started to control his diabetes.

“Sol was pretty interested in the diet and said he wanted to try it out,” Cal says.

“So I got him some books and he started to get his calories down and eat more low-carbohydrate, Mediterranean-style meals.”

The diet immediately brought results. Within eight weeks, Sol had lost seven kilos. But then his weight plateaued. When he started to do some light exercise he found he was short of breath after only a few steps.

Sol’s doctor referred him to cardiologist, Dr Raj Puranik who for seven years has conducted monthly clinics at the Redfern Aboriginal Medical Service.

“We took an ultrasound and I was concerned that an area of Sol‘s heart muscle wasn’t working,“ Dr Puranik said.

“After we did an angiogram (or x-ray of the heart), we found that two of his coronary arteries were 100 percent blocked and the other was 90 percent blocked.  So he was surviving on just ten percent blood flow.”

Sol could have suffered a life-threatening heart attack at any time.

How Sol Bellear prevented a massive life-threatening heart attack

A member of the surgical team that operated on Sol later told him that he was just three to four weeks away from a massive heart attack that would most likely have killed him.

Sol was rushed to the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital where surgeons performed an emergency coronary bypass operation.

Surgeons split his chest open and grafts were used to bypass the blockages in his arteries.

After four hours the operation was a success and Sol woke to see his concerned family huddled around his bed.

“You wake up in the Intensive Care Unit and all your family are there.  And you look at their faces and see all their grief.  You think, so this is what I’ve put them through,” he said.

As the long-term Chair of the Aboriginal Medical Service and a Board member since 1975, Sol didn’t practice what he preached when it came to his own health.

“I’ve been part of campaigns urging Aboriginal men to lead healthy lifestyles and get regular medical checks, but I didn’t follow my own advice.”

Sol was a keen sportsman who played rugby league for the South Sydney Rabbitohs and Redfern All Blacks, but after he retired from football he didn’t maintain regular exercise or watch his diet.

“I was working long hours, drinking too much and eating too many rubbish foods.”

Although he spent a large part of his life at the Aboriginal Medical Service, Sol, like many men, didn’t prioritise a visit to the doctor.

“It’s an ego thing. We think we’re bullet proof … it will never happen to me. But it did happen.”

Since his brush with death, Sol has been struck by how many of his friends and colleagues have had heart bi-passes.

“They say to me: ‘Brother, you’re now a member of the zipper club.’  But this isn’t a club where we want any new members.”

However, Sol knows that he is one of the lucky ones. After the operation he was at home recovering and feeling bored so he got out some old photos from his playing days.

There was one that was of the Redfern All Blacks team from 1978.

There are 20 young men in the photo including the ball boys.

Now all but six of them are dead, many from heart disease.

sol-1978-team

“The greatest tragedy is that many of the deaths of these young men were preventable,” Sol says.

“The only thing separating me from them is luck.”

Dr Puranik says that Australia will never close the mortality gap between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people without action on heart disease.

“Heart disease is the number one driving factor behind the gap. It’s the number one killer but 90 percent of cardiac disease is preventable,” he says.

His years at the Redfern AMS have convinced Dr Puranik that getting the model of health care delivery right is crucial to overcoming the problem.

“We need to take our clinics to Aboriginal people in their community-controlled medical services and show through images rather than just tell them how their heart muscle is working.”

The secret, he says, is patience and building trust.

“When we first started out at Redfern in June 2009 we had a no show rate of around 90 percent.  Now we have seen more than 6,000 patients and the number of people who don’t turn up for appointments is down to 10 percent.”

Sol says that Aboriginal men can’t just leave it to the doctors to solve the problem.

“We now have some of the best doctors in the world at our Medical Services, but only we can change the way that we live by having regular check-ups and a healthier lifestyle,” he says.

Sol says that when you hit 40, you need to start getting regular check-ups – even if you play regular sport and feel fit and healthy.

“By the time you move through your 50s and 60s you should have a clear idea of your blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol levels.

You don’t want to leave it as long as I did – where you’re playing Russian roulette with your heart.”

Sol urges Aboriginal men to adopt a healthier lifestyle by not smoking, cutting down on alcohol and keeping weight down through healthy foods and regular exercise.

Dr Puranik says that there are some clear warning signs that indicate you should seek urgent medical attention.

These include pain to the left side of the central chest, neck or arm pain – particularly related to exercise, dizzy spells or blackouts, chest pain that wakes you up from sleep as well as breathlessness or palpitations.

Incredibly, given how close he came to death, just one month after surgery Sol’s normal heart function had been fully restored.

A veteran of the Aboriginal Land Rights movement and a pioneer of Aboriginal media, sports legal and health services, Sol says that nothing now matters as much to him as overcoming heart disease amongst Aboriginal men.

“If there’s one legacy I leave, I want it to be that Aboriginal men more regularly present for check-ups.”

“We need to take responsibility. We owe this to our families and our communities. We don’t need to keep dying too early from preventable heart disease.”

c1cc7hcveaaxzbh

For NACCHO Media Contact

Colin Cowell Editor 0401 331 251

Email mailto:nacchonews@naccho.org.au

NACCHO Aboriginal Health ” Tackling Indigenous Smoking ” : New Year #healthyfutures #quit message from Tom Calma

tom
 ” I want to say some more about New Year Eve resolutions or pledges.  Common among smokers around the world is the pledge they make to give up.  

This is great, but the common experience is that within a couple of months the pledge is put on the back burner and old habits re-emerge.  Now is a good time to mount a campaign to talk to your constituents about the “give up the smokes pledge” and encourage them to call Quitline or visit their doctor to talk about developing a strategy and getting support to quit and stay quit.

It would be great for colleagues to get on the Yarning Place and share successful strategies and to post success stories.  We might even want to host a pledge board and to monitor people’s pledges in three and six months’ time.

It has been a big year of learning and successes; please stay safe and healthy over the festive period and enjoy quality family time, drink alcohol responsibly and be smoke free of course “

Professor Tom Calma, National Coordinator for Tackling Indigenous Smoking, in his final Monthly Message of the year : Included in the National Best Practice Unit for Tackling Indigenous Smoking Update of the 12 December 2016 see below , is urging all Aboriginal organisations to take control and resolve in 2017 to implement smoke free workplaces.

  ‘Our mob have the right to work in a smoke free environment just like everyone else in this country.’
 
Visit the Tackling Indigenous Smoking portal on Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet to access resources to help you achieve smoke free workplaces,homes, cars and events:
 asite
 
For those individuals who are thinking of making a ‘give up smokes pledge’ this New Year, there are several supports available, including:
·         Quitline – 13 78 48
ql-web-mqb-home-page-banner-v2
·         The QuitNow website: http://www.quitnow.gov.au/internet/quitnow/publishing.nsf/Content/home for other resources
·         Your Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation and /or Tackling Indigenous Smoking regional team can provide you with smoking cessation support.
naccho-app

 Download the NACCHO APP

Hi colleagues,

 

Tackling smoking in the workplace is often put in the ‘too hard basket’.  In 2016 this is no longer excusable.

 
If we want to make significant inroads into tackling our smoking rates, we must have the courage and will to take control of our workplaces and have Board members, CEOs and Managers and staff step up and set an example to their communities.  Our mob have the right to work in a smoke free environment just like everyone else in this country.

On the 30 November this year, the Commonwealth Department of Health celebrated 30 years of being smoke free.    Think of the benefits to all those working in this Department over these three decades.   Health lead the way in the Commonwealth, with all other Departments becoming smoke free by 1988.  Public and private sector offices implemented their own smoke free policies in the mid-1990s.  Why is it that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations, corporations and workplaces are either not smoke free, or do not enforce smoke free policies?
 
The Smoke Free Workplace Policy currently operating in the Department bans smoking and use of e-cigarettes/personal vaporisers within 15 metres of all health buildings at all time.  There may be elements of this Policy that you can draw on, including ideas on the assistance available to staff to quit.   So when you work with or interact with an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisation or group encourage them to develop a smoke free policy and give them some guidance on how to do it.

The TIS Portal includes resources on smoke free spaces: 
http://www.aodknowledgecentre.net.au/aodkc/aodkc-tobacco/tackling-indigenous-smoking/resources-that-work/tools-and-resources-to-support-activities-that-work.    I encourage you to engage with colleagues on the Yarning Place to share strategies and ideas for smoke free workplace success.

The 30 November was also the fourth anniversary of commencement of Australia’s world-leading tobacco plain packaging measures.  If we can be world leading on tobacco control for all Australians, we can become leaders in Indigenous tobacco control to save our people, our culture and our languages.

As this is my last message for 2016 I would urge you to place at the top of your New Year resolutions list adopting and enforcing smoke free workplace policies in your organisation and encouraging and helping our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations to also realise these goals.
 
I want to say some more about New Year Eve resolutions or pledges.  Common among smokers around the world is the pledge they make to give up.  This is great, but the common experience is that within a couple of months the pledge is put on the back burner and old habits re-emerge.  Now is a good time to mount a campaign to talk to your constituents about the “give up the smokes pledge” and encourage them to call Quitline or visit their doctor to talk about developing a strategy and getting support to quit and stay quit.   It would be great for colleagues to get on the Yarning Place and share successful strategies and to post success stories.  We might even want to host a pledge board and to monitor people’s pledges in three and six months’ time.
 
It has been a big year of learning and successes; please stay safe and healthy over the festive period and enjoy quality family time, drink alcohol responsibly and be smoke free of course. J  
 
Regards TOM
 
cost-of-smokes
 

NACCHO Aboriginal Health @AIHW download 3 reports Alert : Obesity and smoking rates higher in regional Australia

obesity

 ” Australians living in regional areas are more likely to be overweight or obese, according to a report released by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).

A second report reveals a similar pattern in relation to daily tobacco smoking with adults in regional areas more likely to smoke daily than their city counterparts.

These reports highlight local areas where efforts can be targeted to reduce rates of smoking, overweight and obesity.

The results are intended to assist local communities in defining their priorities for improvements in health care and to better target and drive health system improvements specific to their local community’s needs.”

The Healthy Communities reports look at local-level variation in obesity and smoking rates across Australia’s Primary Health Network (PHN) areas.

 ” The release of the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare report on overweight and obesity rates should serve as a shocking wake up call for the Turnbull Government – stop sitting on your hands and start acting on this critical public health issue by putting a National Physical Activity Strategy in place

The Abbott-Turnbull Government has gutted preventative health programs and cut $368 million out of prevention.

This forced the closure of successful health promotion programs including the Healthy Children program which provided funding to states and territories to run physical activity and healthy eating programs for children in schools, early childhood centres and preschools.”

CATHERINE KING MP SHADOW MINISTER FOR HEALTH AND MEDICARE ( see full press release below )

Image above : Please note for specific data from our NACCHO 302 Clinics

Download NACCHO Healthy Futures

reportcard-1

MyHealthyCommunities

MyHealthyCommunities is an interactive site that lets you see how your local health area is performing and how it compares against other similar areas.

The website is managed by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, a major national agency set up by the Australian Government to provide reliable, regular and relevant information and statistics on Australia’s health and welfare. We provide nationally consistent, locally relevant and comparable information about health care services in Australia.

The aim of this website is to provide information in a way that helps you to make informed decisions. By publicly reporting in this way we also aim to empower clinicians and service providers to drive improvements, and increase transparency and accountability within the health system.

http://www.myhealthycommunities.gov.au/

The first report, Healthy Communities: Overweight and obesity rates across Australia, 2014–15,

DOWNLOAD report Here

aihw_hc_report_overweight_and_obesity_report_december_2016

shows that the highest rate of overweight and obesity in adults was 73% in Country South Australia, while Northern Sydney had the lowest rate at 53% – still over half the adult population in that area who were overweight or obese.

When looking at just obesity (a body mass index of 30 and above) a wider variation was seen in adults across PHN areas.

‘With obesity we see even wider variation with 16% of adults who were shown to be obese in Central and Eastern Sydney, compared with 38% in Country South Australia. Again, the highest obesity rates were recorded in regional areas,’ said AIHW spokesperson Michael Frost.

Today’s second report, Healthy Communities: Tobacco smoking rates across Australia, 2014–15

smokes-1smokes-2

Image above :

Please note for specific data from our NACCHO 302 Clinics

Download NACCHO Healthy Futures

For AIHW DOWNLOAD report here

aihw_hc_report_tobacco_smoking_rates_report_december_2016

shows that while daily smoking rates in Australia have continued to fall, they remain relatively high in some PHN areas – particularly regional areas.

‘Northern Sydney had the lowest rate of daily smoking at around 5%, while Western NSW had the highest rate of 23%,’ Mr Frost said.

‘Overall, regional PHN areas had higher smoking rates than city-based PHNs.’

Both reports are available on the MyHealthyCommunities website (http://www.myhealthycommunities.gov.au).

Opposition Response AUSTRALIA PAYING A HEAVY PRICE WHILE TURNBULL GOVERNMENT FAILS TO ACT ON OBESITY

Today’s release of the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare report on overweight and obesity rates should serve as a shocking wake up call for the Turnbull Government – stop sitting on your hands and start acting on this critical public health issue by putting a National Physical Activity Strategy in place.

The AIHW’s Healthy Communities report illustrates why overweight and obesity rates are a serious problem for the future of our health system, finding that around 64 per cent of Australian adults – 11.2 million – are now overweight or obese.

The Government needs to get serious and start putting in place serious strategies to combat this epidemic. We don’t need more inquiries – Australia needs action.

The Global Burden of Disease study identified dietary risk and high body mass index as the top two contributors to burden of disease – even higher than smoking – linked to conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer.

That’s why during the election, Labor committed to developing Australia’s first National Physical Activity Strategy.

Australia is falling behind the pack when it comes to tackling obesity – more than a dozen countries already have strategies in place to increase activity and reduce obesity.

We also committed to introduce a National Nutrition Framework, to work with food producers and retailers to expand the utilisation of the Health Star Rating system, something Labor developed in Government.

In contrast, the Abbott-Turnbull Government has gutted preventative health programs and cut $368 million out of prevention. This forced the closure of successful health promotion programs including the Healthy Children program which provided funding to states and territories to run physical activity and healthy eating programs for children in schools, early childhood centres and preschools.

Australia needs a Government prepared to take action in recognition of the cost of obesity and associated co-morbidities, and actively help Australians to change their behaviour. The Turnbull Government either doesn’t care, or isn’t up to the task.

NACCHO Aboriginal Health and Smoking Research : The Don’t Make Smokes Your Story advertising is helping smokers to quit

history

 ” The Don’t Make Smokes Your Story Campaign was effective because it reflected the impact of smoking on family and community.

The evaluation showed

  •  9 per cent of people interviewed had quit as a result of seeing the campaign and
  • 27 per cent had cut down on their smoking.
  • A further 26 per cent intended to quit in the next month

The campaign shares the story of a young man who decides to quit to make sure he will be around to look after his children as they grow,

Approximately 39 percent of Indigenous Australians aged 15 years and over are daily smokers, which is nearly three times the rate for other Australians.

Smoking is estimated to account for one-in-five Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander deaths, so changing attitudes to smoking is vital to closing the gap on health.”

Assistant Minister for Health and Aged Care, Ken Wyatt

 ” Most of our people understand that smoking is harmful to themselves, to their children, to partners and to the community. One in five of our mob die from smoking related diseases and many others are sick because of smoking.

Passive smoking, that’s breathing in somebody else’s smoke, is as dangerous as smoking a cigarette and children are amongst those most affected. We all need to take on the challenge and make our homes, our cars, our social events, our meeting places, our council rooms and our workplaces smoke free.”

Tom Calma National Coordinator for the Australian Government’s Tackling Indigenous Smoking Program- see full message below

A significant portion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander smokers have taken action to quit smoking after seeing the Don’t Make Smokes Your Story advertising campaign.

Watch video here

Assistant Minister for Rural Health, Dr David Gillespie, said an independent evaluation of the campaign by ORC International found that it had generated high awareness and was very effective.

The campaign, launched in May this year, focuses on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 18 to 40 years who smoke or have recently quit.

“This is an important campaign that seeks to empower Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander smokers to quit smoking for themselves and their families,” Dr Gillespie said.

Don’t Make Smokes Your Story – National Tobacco Campaign

TV script – 45 seconds

Ted and his family sitting on the back steps with his guitar.

VO: Family is everything to me.

We see Ted in the kitchen with his extended family.

VO: I can’t imagine life without them, to be honest.

We see Ted in the hospital with an oxygen mask on his face. A close up of his finger with a pulse monitor attached.

VO: I’ve had my battles with smokes.

We see Ted’s wife standing at his hospital bedside.

VO: My lungs got pretty bad

We see a close up of Ted’s face with the oxygen mask.

VO: Sometimes I could hardly breathe and that was tough on everyone.

We see Ted and his sons outside together.

VO: and that was tough on everyone.

In a flashback, we cut to a younger Ted at a skate park, smoking with a mate. We then see them passing cigarettes to each other as they sit in the skate bowl.

VO: I’m not sure why I smoked; I just did.

We see Ted playing with his children in the backyard.

VO: My kids, Jarrah and Yani, I wanted to be there for them, so I quit. I’ve quit before; I just kept trying.

We see Ted kicking a football with his children.

VO: now I can keep up with them in the yard….

Ted helps his children riding their bikes on the street.

VO: …and I’ve got more money to spend on better things.

We see Ted standing in front of his house taking a selfie with his Mum.

VO: Mum and the Aunties are pretty happy that I quit.

We see Ted with his extended family in the kitchen.

VO: They didn’t want me to die from smokes like Dad did.

We see Ted’s face and a shot of Ted standing in front of his house with his children playing football behind him.

VO: My name is Ted, and family is my story.

SUPER: DON’T MAKE SMOKES YOUR STORY.

Quit now: My Quitbuddy logo, Quitline 137848, Australia.gov.au/quitnow, Australian Government crest

VO: Don’t make smokes your story. Download the app, call the Quitline, or visit quitnow.

SUPER: Authorised by the Australian Government, Canberra.

ANNCR: Authorised by the Australian Government, Canberra.

“The Coalition Government is committed to reducing high Indigenous smoking rates.”

The campaign highlights the dangers of smoking, the reasons for quitting, and the tools and support available to help support people who have quit. It featured on television, radio, print, online and outdoor media, with a strong presence in regional and remote communities.

quit

The evaluation showed

  •  9 per cent of people interviewed had quit as a result of seeing the campaign and
  • 27 per cent had cut down on their smoking.
  • A further 26 per cent intended to quit in the next month.

Calls to the Quitline increased over the campaign period and downloads of the My QuitBuddy app reached more than 30,000 new users.

Download here

0

The campaign complements the Coalition Government’s $116.8 million Tackling Indigenous Smoking program which delivers targeted smoking prevention and cessation activities.

Video message – Professor Tom Calma

Welcome to the Quitnow website.

My name is Tom Calma. I am from Darwin and I am Kungarakan on my mother’s side and Iwaidja on my father’s side.

As the National Coordinator for the Australian Government’s Tackling Indigenous Smoking Program, it’s my job to support those working with our mob to quit, or not take up smoking.

If you need help to stop smoking or you want to try and help somebody else quit, then you’ve come to the right place.

This website has got all the information you need about how to quit and what support services are available to help you on your journey.

Most of our people understand that smoking is harmful to themselves, to their children, to partners and to the community. One in five of our mob die from smoking related diseases and many others are sick because of smoking.

Passive smoking, that’s breathing in somebody else’s smoke, is as dangerous as smoking a cigarette and children are amongst those most affected. We all need to take on the challenge and make our homes, our cars, our social events, our meeting places, our council rooms and our workplaces smoke free.

Smoking or breathing in somebody else’s smoking while you’re pregnant also puts a mum and the baby at higher risk of health problems, and some of these problems can affect the baby for life.

Children with parents who smoke are more likely to take up smoking themselves. Be a positive role model for the children around you and break the smoking cycle.

Not only is smoking bad for your health, it is also expensive. Think about how much money you and your family could save if you support each other to quit!

Now most smokers want to quit and have tried to quit. While our people have done a fantastic job in quitting smoking, we still have a long way to go.

I ask my brothers and sisters, Aunties and Uncles and young ones to give up smoking or not take it up. I also ask you to help others you care about to choose the no smoking path. That way we can all lead long and healthy lives.

So enjoy the website and I wish you all the best in quitting and staying smoke free. Don’t make smokes your story!

Background

The Australian Government has strengthened its commitment to closing the gap in Indigenous life expectancy, with the launch of the latest phase of the National Tobacco Campaign.

Don’t Make Smokes Your Story features new advertising materials specifically targeted at encouraging Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander smokers to make a serious quit attempt, not just for themselves but also for the health and wellbeing of their families.

Approximately 39 per cent of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people over the age of 15 are daily smokers, 2.8 times the smoking rate for other Australians. It is estimated that smoking accounts for one in five Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander deaths.

The Don’t Make Smokes Your Story campaign aims to change this. It tells the inspiring story of Ted, a mid-thirties Aboriginal and South Sea Islander man who decided to quit smoking for his family, to make sure he’d be around to look after his kids. The campaign highlights the dangers of smoking, the reasons for quitting, and the tools and support available to help people stay quit.

Find out more from your nearest ACCHO or

The Quit Now website has more useful information about quitting smoking.

 

NACCHO Aboriginal Health Alert #GetonTrack Report : The ten things we need to do to improve our health

 health-2

” Australia’s Health Tracker reports that 25.6% of children and 29.5% of young people are overweight or obese, with even higher prevalence reported in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

Over-consumption of discretionary or junk foods contributes to Australia’s inability to halt the rise of diabetes and obesity. Australia’s Health Tracker also reports that junk foods contribute, on average, to approximately 40% of children and young people’s daily energy needs.

These foods and drinks tend to have low levels of essential nutrients and can take the place of other, more nutritious foods. They are associated with increased risk of obesity and chronic disease such as heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and some forms of cancer.

Obesity during adolescence is a risk factor for chronic disease later in life and can seriously hinder children’s and young people’s physical and mental development. ”

From the Getting Australia’s Health on Track

health-4

Download the report here getting-australias-health-on-track-ahpc-nov2016

page-1-copy

NACCHO Aboriginal Health #Newspaper What Works Part 3 : Healthy Futures for our Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services the 2016 Report Card will say

Report from the Conversation

In Australia, one in every two people has a chronic disease. These diseases, such as cancer, mental illness and heart disease, reduce quality of life and can lead to premature death. Younger generations are increasingly at risk.

Crucially, one-third of the disease burden could be prevented and chronic diseases often share the same risk factors.

A collaboration of Australia’s leading scientists, clinicians and health organisations has produced health targets for Australia’s population to reach by the year 2025.

health-3

These are in line with the World Health Organisation’s agenda for a 25% global reduction in premature deaths from chronic diseases, endorsed by all member states including Australia.

Today the collaboration is announcing its top ten priority policy actions in response to a recent health report card that identifies challenges to meeting the targets.

The actions will drive down risk factors and help create a healthier Australia.

health-1

1. Drink fewer sugary drinks

One in two adults and three out of four children and young people consume too much sugar. Sugary drinks are the main source of sugar in the Australian diet and while many other factors influence health, these drinks are directly linked to weight gain and the risk of developing diabetes.

Putting a 20% tax on sugary drinks could save lives and prevent heart attacks, strokes and diabetes. The tax would also generate A$400 million each year that could be spent on much needed health programs.

2. Stop unhealthy food marketing aimed at kids

Almost 40% of children and young people’s energy comes from junk food. Children are very responsive to marketing and it is no coincidence almost two-thirds of food marketing during popular viewing times are unhealthy products.

Restricting food marketing aimed at children is an effective way to significantly reduce junk food consumption and Australians want action in this area. Government-led regulation is needed to drive this change.

3. Keep up the smoking-reduction campaigns

Smoking remains the leading cause of preventable death and disease in Australia, although the trends are positive.

Campaigns that highlight the dangers of smoking reduce the number of young people who start smoking, increase the number of people who attempt to quit and support former smokers to remain tobacco free.

4. Help everyone quit

About 40% of Aboriginal people and 24% of people with a mental illness smoke.

To support attempts to quit, compliance with smoke-free legislation across all work and public places is vital. Media campaigns need to continue to reach broad audiences. GPs and other local health services that serve disadvantaged communities should include smoking cessation in routine care.

5. Get active in the streets

More than 90% of Australian young people are not meeting guidelines for sufficient physical activity – the 2025 target is to reduce this by at least 10%.

Active travel to and from school programs will reach 3.7 million of Australia’s children and young people. This can only occur in conjunction with safe paths and urban environments that are designed in line with the latest evidence to get everyone moving.

6. Tax alcohol responsibly

The Henry Review concluded that health and social harms have not been adequately considered in current alcohol taxation. A 10% increase on the current excise, and the consistent application of volume-based taxation, are the 2017 priority actions.

Fortunately, the trends suggest most people are drinking more responsibly. However approximately 5,500 deaths and 157,000 hospital admissions occur as a consequence of alcohol each year.

7. Use work as medicine

People with a mental illness are over-represented in national unemployment statistics. The 2025 target is to halve the employment gap.

Unemployment and the associated financial duress exerts a significant toll on the health of people with a mental illness, and costs an estimated A$2.5 billion in lost productivity each year.

Supported vocational programs have 20 years of evidence showing their effectiveness. Scaling up and better integrating these programs is an urgent priority, along with suicide prevention and broader efforts.

8. Cut down on salt

Most Australian adults consume in excess of the recommended maximum salt intake of 5 grams daily. This contributes to a high prevalence of elevated blood pressure among adults (23%), which is a major risk factor for heart diseases.

Around 75% of Australian’s salt intake comes from processed foods. Reducing salt intake by 30% by 2025, via food reformulation, could save 3,500 lives a year through reductions in heart disease, stroke and kidney disease.

9. Promote heart health

Heart disease is Australia’s single largest cause of death, and yet an estimated 970,000 adults at high risk of a cardiovascular event (heart attack or stroke) are not receiving appropriate treatment to reduce risk factors such as combined blood pressure and cholesterol-lowering medications. Under-treatment can be exacerbated by people’s lack of awareness about their own risk factors.

National heart risk assessment programs, along with care planning for high-risk individuals, offer a cost-effective solution.

10. Measure what matters

A comprehensive Australian Health Survey must be a permanent and routine survey every five years, so Australia knows how we are tracking on chronic disease.

All of these policies are effective, affordable and feasible opportunities to prevent, rather than treat, Australia’s biggest killer diseases

 

NACCHO Aboriginal Health and Smoking :Facebook could help lower Indigenous smoking rates,health researchers say

nt

“Facebook is a more effective way of reaching Indigenous Australians than traditional forms of communication; what we need to figure out is how to harness that message,”

Marita Hefler from the Menzies School of Health Research in Darwin.

“On Facebook I have seen some of my friends quitting smoking, using Facebook as a diary, and they’ve been very successful. I’m hoping that sharing my experiences will also help me quit,”

After suffering a heart attack on her 50th birthday, Chuna Lowah is trying to quit smoking, and is hopeful Facebook can help.

page-8

Articles are from Page 8  NACCHO Aboriginal Health Newspaper out Wednesday 16 November , 24 Page lift out Koori Mail : or download

naccho-newspaper-nov-2016 PDF file size 9 MB

Indigenous people have the highest rates of smoking in the country, but researchers in the Top End believe Facebook could be the most effective way of helping them quit.

untitled

As reported the ABC

Aboriginal people living in remote communities smoke at three times the rate of other Australians, according to research fellow Marita Hefler from the Menzies School of Health Research in Darwin.

Preliminary research into the role of Facebook in helping smokers to quit has found that although the living situations of Indigenous Australians differs widely across the Northern Territory, even those who lack food or clothing may still own a smartphone.

“We know that Aboriginal people use social media at very high rates; it’s been taken up even in remote communities, particularly where people have limited communication through other means,” Ms Hefler said.

Researchers believe Indigenous people use Facebook at higher rates than the overall population, making it one of the most effective ways to reach out.

“Facebook is a more effective way of reaching Indigenous Australians than traditional forms of communication; what we need to figure out is how to harness that message,” Ms Hefler said.

Early findings show that when friends and family talk about quitting smoking on social media, it has a greater effect than traditional hardline anti-smoking ads.

“The people in your Facebook networks influence you the most,” Ms Hefler said.

“In the past, anti-smoking advertising has relied heavily on having a captive audience; we know that smokers don’t like the content they are seeing, but they can’t get away. Now with the advent of Facebook, all you have to do is swipe and the message is gone.”

Cigarettes more popular than fruit in outback stores

Customers in remote Australia spent roughly four and a half times more on cigarettes than fruit and vegetables in 2015-16, said Stephen Bradley, chairman of Outback Stores, a government-owned company which manages 37 businesses in some of the remotest parts of the country.

An incentive program run by Outback Stores to improve community health has resulted in a 0.5 per cent drop in soft drink sales and a five per cent increase in fruit and vegetable sales, but Mr. Bradley admits more needs to be done.

“We remain convinced that a significant dietary change will take many years and our support programs need to operate for the longer term to be effective,” he said.

The Federal Government is aiming to close the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous life expectancy within a generation.

Indigenous deaths caused by heart disease and strokes have been dropping but on average Indigenous people are still dying 10 years younger than non-Indigenous Australians.

“Smoking in Aboriginal communities looks quite different to what it does in the rest of Australia,” Ms Hefler said.

“There’s historical reasons why the smoking rate is higher: it’s tied up in inter-generational trauma, and we also know the stolen generations are more likely to smoke.”

Using Facebook to quit

8044042-3x2-700x467

After suffering a heart attack on her 50th birthday, Chuna Lowah is trying to quit smoking, and is hopeful Facebook can help.

Ms Lowah has been a smoker for more than half her life and agrees the tough traditional anti-smoking ads are too easy to ignore.

“On Facebook I have seen some of my friends quitting smoking, using Facebook as a diary, and they’ve been very successful. I’m hoping that sharing my experiences will also help me quit,” she said.

The preliminary research findings from Menzies have been welcomed by NT Territory Labor MP Chansey Paech, whose central Australian electorate of Namatjira has a high Indigenous population.

“Both the Territory and Federal Governments have made significant contributions over the last several years to reduce the rates of smoking, so I’m looking forward to reading the report and seeing what the recommendations are, and hopefully reducing the smoking rate in the Northern Territory, which we know is too high,” he said.

nt

NACCHO Overcoming Indigenous Disadvantage #Smoking and Healthy Lives report : Cigarettes favoured over fruit in Outback stores

 

smokes 
” Between 2001 and 2014-15, the crude daily smoking rate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults declined from 50.7 to 41.4 per cent (table 8A.4.1).

  A similar decline in non-Indigenous smoking rates meant that the gap in (age-adjusted) daily smoking rates remained relatively constant at around 26 percentage points between 2001 and 2014-15 (table 8A.4.7).

There is no published robust evaluation of an intervention resulting in a decrease in the prevalence of tobacco smoking for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people (Minichiello et al 2016). “

The Overcoming Indigenous Disadvantage report measures the wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians. Download Chapter 8 or see below

naccho-download-nov-2016-chapter8-healthy-lives

Read 90 NACCHO articles about Tackling Indigenous Smokes

Or Articles page 8 NACCHO Aboriginal Health Newspaper out Wednesday 16 November , 24 Page lift out Koori Mail : or download

naccho-newspaper-nov-2016 PDF file size 9 MB

” Tobacco turnover had remained “consistently high” with 8.34 million sticks sold over the year and tobacco accounting for 19 per cent of all food and grocery sales.

Customers spent 4.4 times more on cigarettes than fruit and vegetables in 2015/16.”

Chairman Stephen Bradley revealed in the annual report of Outback Stores Pty Ltd, the government-owned company which manages 37 businesses in some of the remotest parts of Australia.

Lung cancer is the highest-ranked cancer type among Indigenous people, but the fourth-ranked for non-indigenous Australians.

An incentive program to improve community health has resulted in a 0.5 per cent drop in soft drink sales and a five per cent increase in fruit and vegetable sales.

 Location of Outback stores across Australia.

Location of Outback stores across Australia.

But the company admitted more needed to be done.

“We remain convinced that a significant dietary change will take many years and our support programs need to operate for the longer term to be effective,” Mr Bradley wrote.

The government is aiming to close the gap between Indigenous and non-indigenous life expectancy within a generation, halving the gap in mortality rates for under-fives within a decade and halving the gap in employment outcomes.

The company reported 297 Indigenous staff were employed in Outback Stores businesses, which turned over $82.5 million in 2015/16.

Overcoming Indigenous Disadvantage: Key Indicators 2016

<!–

–>The Overcoming Indigenous Disadvantage report measures the wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians. Chapter 8.4

Tobacco consumption and harm[1]

Things that work

There is no published robust evaluation of an intervention resulting in a decrease in the prevalence of tobacco smoking for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people (Minichiello et al 2016).

A systematic review of 73 interventions in indigenous communities globally found that there was no single intervention that was more likely to result in a reduction in tobacco use, but rather that more successful programs:

  • use a comprehensive approach inclusive of multiple activities
  • centre Aboriginal leadership
  • make long-term community investments
  • provide culturally appropriate health materials and activities to produce desired changes (Minichiello et al. 2016).

Research from the national Talking About The Smokes project also highlighted the importance of taking a comprehensive approach to tobacco control, reporting that a broad range of factors were associated (positively and negatively) with the desire by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander smokers to quit (Nicholson et. al 2015).

Box 8.4.1      Key messages
·      Between 2001 and 2014-15, the crude daily smoking rate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults declined from 50.7 to 41.4 per cent (table 8A.4.1).

·      A similar decline in non-Indigenous smoking rates meant that the gap in (age-adjusted) daily smoking rates remained relatively constant at around 26 percentage points between 2001 and 2014-15 (table 8A.4.7).

 

Box 8.4.2      Measures of tobacco consumption and harm
There is one main measure for this indicator (aligned with the associated NIRA indicator), rates of current daily smokers, measured by the proportion of people aged 18 years and over who are current daily smokers (all jurisdictions; remoteness; age; sex).

Smoking rate data are available from the ABS Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey (AATSIHS)/National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey (NATSISS), with the most recent data available from the 2014‑15 NATSISS. Data for the non‑Indigenous population are sourced from the ABS Australian Health Survey (AHS)/National Health Survey (NHS), with the most recent data available from the 2014-15 NHS.

Previous editions of this report included a supplementary measure on tobacco-related hospitalisations. This is no longer included as the measure only related to conditions directly attributable to tobacco — not most conditions, where tobacco may be a contributing factor but the link is not immediate. Data are also difficult to interpret as they represent less than one per cent of all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander hospitalisations and are therefore highly volatile over time.

Tobacco consumption is a subsidiary performance measure for COAG’s target of ‘closing the life expectancy gap (between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians) within a generation’ (COAG 2012).

In Australia, up to two-thirds of deaths in current smokers can be attributed to smoking (AHMAC 2015). Among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, tobacco use is the leading risk factor contributing to disease and death (Vos et al. 2007). Studies have found that smoking tobacco increases the risk of developing numerous cancers, heart and vascular diseases, and depression (AHMAC 2012; Cunningham et al. 2008; Pasco et al. 2008). Smoking in pregnancy can lead to miscarriage, stillbirth or premature birth (Graham et al. 2007). Section 6.2 includes information on women reporting smoking during pregnancy.

Compared to non-Indigenous people, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians who smoke generally commence at an earlier age and smoke for longer (CEITC 2010, 2014). Recent research (Knott et al. 2016) suggests also there may be fundamental differences in the determinants of smoking and the reasons for quitting, between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men and women.

Research has found that the proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults who want to quit smoking and those who have made a quit attempt in the past year, are similar to the general population. However fewer Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults have made a sustained quit attempt for at least a month and a lower proportion agree that social norms disapprove of smoking, compared to the general population (Thomas et. al 2015).

Tobacco use is often associated with other lifestyle related health risk factors, such as excessive alcohol consumption and poor diet. Long term risky/high risk drinkers (both males and females) were more likely to be current smokers than those who drank at a low risk level (ABS 2006). Section 11.1 examines alcohol consumption and harm.

In Australia and many other countries smoking behaviour is inversely related to socioeconomic status, with those in disadvantaged groups in the population more likely to start and continue smoking. In addition to long-term health risks, low income groups (such as some Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families and communities) are affected by the financial strain associated with tobacco use (Greenhalgh 2015). A recent study in NSW found that more disadvantaged areas were significantly more likely to have higher tobacco outlet densities, with this density significantly and positively associated with smoking status (Marashi-Pour 2015).

Tobacco consumption

Current daily smokers are people who smoked one or more cigarettes (or pipes or cigars) per day at the time of survey interview.

The COAG performance measure and the data presented in this section focus on the proportion of people aged 18 years and over who are current daily smokers. However, as noted, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians tend to start smoking at an earlier age than non‑Indigenous people — for 2014-15, in non-remote areas around one in six (16.2 per cent) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander 15 to 17 year olds were current daily smokers, compared with one in thirty (3.3 per cent) non‑Indigenous 15 to 17 year olds (table 8A.4.12).

Nationally in 2014-15, the crude daily smoking rate among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults was 41.4 per cent, a decline from 50.7 per cent in 2001 (table 8A.4.1). Rates varied across states and territories in 2014-15, from 38.8 per cent in SA to 46.2 per cent in the NT (table 8A.4.1). Smoking rates were higher in remote and very remote areas (49.3 per cent and 48.9 per cent) than in major cities (36.3 per cent) (table 8A.4.2). In non-remote areas in 2014-15, smoking was most prevalent among those aged 25–54 years (between 45.4 and 46.5 per cent), with smoking rates much lower for older people (31.3 per cent for those aged 55 years and over). A similar pattern was observed for non‑Indigenous Australians, although the daily smoking rates were consistently lower across all age groups (table 8A.4.12).

After adjusting for different population age structures, in 2014-15 the current daily smoking rate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians was 2.8 times the rate for non-Indigenous Australians (table 8A.4.7). The gap in smoking rates was widest in remote areas (table 8A.4.8).

 

Figure 8.4.1   Current daily smokers aged 18 years and over, 2001 to 2014-15a, b
a Error bars represent 95 per cent confidence intervals around each estimate. b Rates are age standardised.
Sources: ABS (unpublished) National Health Survey 2001; ABS (unpublished) National Health Survey and National Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander Health Survey 2004-05; ABS (unpublished) National Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander Social Survey 2008; ABS (unpublished) National Health Survey 2007-08; ABS (unpublished) Australian Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander Health Survey 2012-13 (core component); ABS (unpublished) Australian Health Survey 2011–13 (2011-12 core component); ABS (unpublished) National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey, 2014-15; ABS (unpublished) National Health Survey, 2014-15; table 8A.4.7.

Between 2001 and 2014-15, after adjusting for differences in population age structures, the daily smoking rate declined for both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults and non‑Indigenous adults, leaving the gap relatively unchanged at around 26 percentage points (figure 8.4.1).

Data for smoking rates reported by State and Territory are available by remoteness in tables 8A.4.2–6 and 8A.4.8−10 and by sex in tables 8A.4.11-12.

Research from the national Talking About The Smokes project also highlighted the importance of taking a comprehensive approach to tobacco control, reporting that a broad range of factors were associated (positively and negatively) with the desire by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander smokers to quit (Nicholson et. al 2015).

[1]    The Steering Committee notes its appreciation to the National Health Leadership Forum, which reviewed a draft of this section of the report.

NACCHO Aboriginal Health Research : Ministers Ley and Wyatt invest $10.6 million in Aboriginal health research

sussan-2

We know there is much work to be done with Indigenous health outcomes. This government is committed to making long-term improvements in Indigenous health and providing opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander researchers,

The announcement of $10.6 million investment supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health research includes $2.5 million for a Centre of Research Excellence (CRE) to build Indigenous research capacity and to find solutions to alcohol-related health problems

 This funding is part of NHMRC’s commitment to expend at least five per cent of its budget to support research to improve the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.”

Minister for Health Sussan Ley pictured here consulting this week at QAIHC with Matthew Cooke NACCHO chair /QAIHC CEO and board members

ken

“These ECFs have been awarded to help Australian health and medical researchers early in their careers to establish themselves as independent, self-directed researchers.

It is essential that we build a vibrant future for Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander researchers who will play a crucial role in addressing Australia’s health issues,”

Assistant Minister for Health Ken Wyatt said the Government was committed to providing opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander researchers. Pictured above opening a Yulu-Burri-Ba Clinic in Brisbane this week

“Indigenous Australians are eight times more likely to suffer death or illness as a result of alcohol use, yet there is a critical shortage of Indigenous researchers with expertise in this field.

The team will generate new knowledge, integrating efforts along the continuum of treatment and prevention for unhealthy alcohol use. The Centre is designed to ensure that evidence will be readily translated into practice and policy.

Professor Kate Conigrave at the University of Sydney Centre of Research Excellence (CRE) 

The Turnbull Government has announced a further $190 million in health and medical research,

Minister for Health Sussan Ley said these new grants—awarded through the National Health and Medical Research Council—would help Australia’s research community to make discoveries that improve the diagnosis, treatment and cure of illnesses that can affect Indigenous Australians.

sussan

The announcement includes $2.5 million for a Centre of Research Excellence (CRE) to build Indigenous research capacity and to find solutions to alcohol-related health problems.

The Centre, led by Professor Kate Conigrave at the University of Sydney, will build a strong network of Indigenous researchers with expertise in preventing and treating alcohol-related problems.

“The Centre will bring together senior Indigenous and non-Indigenous investigators at organisations including the Aboriginal Drug and Alcohol Council South Australia and the Inala Indigenous Health Service,” Professor Conigrave said.

“Together, these investigators have an extensive track record in research, clinical work and policy development.”

Professor Conigrave brings significant experience working in partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to target substance misuse. She said this funding would provide a major pathway forward in research to reduce the harms from alcohol among Indigenous Australians.

“Indigenous Australians are eight times more likely to suffer death or illness as a result of alcohol use, yet there is a critical shortage of Indigenous researchers with expertise in this field.

“The team will generate new knowledge, integrating efforts along the continuum of treatment and prevention for unhealthy alcohol use. The Centre is designed to ensure that evidence will be readily translated into practice and policy.

“The CRE also offers a range of training and development opportunities to Indigenous research students and early-career researchers. It will provide pathways into postgraduate research study for Indigenous Australians, with comprehensive support and training at every step along the way,” Professor Conigrave explained.

Together with this CRE, NHMRC has committed to fund research targeting a range of other health issues for Indigenous Australians including:

  •  improving outcomes of Hepatitis B infection
  •  improving diet quality and food supply in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities
  •  implementing interventions to improve health and justice outcomes for Indigenous offenders
  •  addressing the high rates of depression amongst Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians.

Today’s announcement also includes three Early Career Fellowships (ECFs) for Indigenous researchers.

Assistant Minister for Health Ken Wyatt said the Government was committed to providing opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander researchers.

“These ECFs have been awarded to help Australian health and medical researchers early in their careers to establish themselves as independent, self-directed researchers. It is essential that we build a vibrant future for Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander researchers who will play a crucial role in addressing Australia’s health issues,” Mr Wyatt said.

Associate Professor James Ward from the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute is one of the Indigenous researchers to receive an ECF. His research seeks to establish interventions to improve outcomes for young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with sexually transmissible infections or blood borne viruses and for people using methamphetamines.

This funding is part of NHMRC’s commitment to expend at least five per cent of its budget to support research to improve the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

A total of $190 million across 320 grants funding health and medical research were announced today. This includes a $100 million investment in fostering career development and supporting leading health and medical researchers in full-time research. This comprises $58 million to support Research Fellowships and $38 million to fund ECFs.

Ms Ley reiterated these grants will play a vital role in funding new research for treatments of diseases that affect Australians.

“Health and medical research is a powerful investment and one that delivers immense benefits through better health and health care.

“The researchers we have funded are at the leading edge of health and medical research from which considerable benefits will flow.

“Congratulations to these grant recipients and I look forward to seeing the outcomes of this work in improving the health and wellbeing of all Australians,” Ms Ley said.

More information on the grants is available on the NHMRC website.