NACCHO Aboriginal Health and #CoronaVirus News Alert No 28 : April 2 #KeepOurMobSafe : With Contributions from @atsils @NATSIHWA Dr @KelvinKongENT, @DeadlyChoices, #Yerin ACCHO @ahmrc Dr @normanswan and Dr Mark Wenitong @33CreativeAus

1. COVID-19: Information for Indigenous Communities : Looking after our mental health.

2. ATSILS : Sorry business and funerals the COVID-19 crisis.

3 .NATSIHWA CEO Karl Briscoe : Our workforce and the COVID-19 crisis.

4. WA Government : Launches COVID-19 Strong Spirits / Strong Minds website.

5. View: Yerin Eleanor Duncan ACCHO braces for COVID-19.

6. VIDEO : Learn the FACTS about COVID-19 in this 8 minute presentation.

7. VIEW : Dr Mark Wenitong and Dr Norman Swan on ABC TV 7.30 Report : COVID-19 and Indigenous communities.

8. AHMRC : Professor Kelvin kong

9. More than 550 Telstra payphones are now free-of-charge across Indigenous communities in Australia

10.Gallery of COVID-19 on social media images to share.

See how NACCHO protects our mob Corona Virus Home Page

Read all 28 NACCHO Aboriginal Health and Coronas Virus Alerts HERE

1. COVID-19: Information for Indigenous Communities : Looking after our mental health

  • Coronavirus is changing the way we live, work, communicate and connect with people. These changes can be hard for our communities.
  • It’s important to care of ourselves, our family, friends and community.
  • Doing things for your mental health and wellbeing is more important now than ever.
  • There are a number of things that you can do like eating well and keeping active.
  • Going for walks can be a great way to connect to country. Just remember to at least two big steps away from other people.
  • Being physically isolated doesn’t mean you can’t yarn. Stay connected with family, friends and community over the phone or online. It’s important to stay connected.
  • Doing things you enjoy, like art, dance or listening to music can also help you keep feeling good.
  • We all need to protect our Elders and community.
  • Together we can keep our mob safe and stop the spread.
  • Information is changing regularly. Stay up to date via health.gov.au, visit niaa.gov.au or call the Coronavirus Helpline at 1800 020 080.

2. ATSILS : Sorry business and funerals the COVID-19 crisis.

With restrictions in place that limit the gatherings, families need to talk about other ways they can conduct sorry business while restrictions are in place.

3 . NITV and NATSIHWA CEO Karl Briscoe : Our workforce and the COVID-19 crisis

Read Karl Briscoe editrial HERE

4. WA Government : Launches COVID-19 Strong Spirits / Strong Minds website.

View Website HERE

5. View: Yerin Eleanor Duncan ACCHO braces for COVID-19

Watch TV Coverage HERE

6. VIDEO : Learn the FACTS about COVID-19 in this 8 minute presentation

7. VIEW : Dr Mark Wenitong and Dr Norman Swan on ABC TV 7.30 Report : COVID-19 and Indigenous communities

Watch IView here at 10 minute mark :

8. AHMRC : Dr Kelvin Kong explains the symptons of COVID-19

 

9. More than 550 Telstra payphones are now free-of-charge across Indigenous communities in Australia

FREE TO USE PAY PHONES IN REMOTE LOCATIONS
Telstra is providing free service from pay phones in over 550 remote locations to help keep people connected during the COVID-19 pandemic.
This includes pay phones in Alice Springs and surrounding communities and heaps of other is the NT!
Eligible pay phones will now be displaying “Free Calls from Telstra” on its screen.
REMEMBER:
You must stay 3 steps away from next person, even if you are waiting in line.
Wipe the phone down AND wash your hands before and after you use it!

10.Gallery of COVID-19 on social media images to share.

10.Gallery of COVID-19 on social media images to share.

 

10.Gallery of COVID-19 on social media images to share.

NACCHO Aboriginal Health #Stroke #Heart #ClosetheGap Research : @ANUmedia New recommendations for cardiovascular disease risk assessment and management in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults aged under 35 years

This is a great step in reducing the burden of cardiovascular disease in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.”

Our people have greater rates of heart disease and screening from a younger age will contribute to longer healthier lives. NACCHO encourages all Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations to implement these new guidelines in their practices.

The Chair of the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation, Donnell Mills

The updated recommendations are for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander individuals to receive:

  • Combined early screening for diabetes, chronic kidney disease and other cardiovascular (CVD) risk factors from the age of 18 years at latest;
  • Assessment of absolute CVD risk using an Australian CVD risk calculator from the age of 30 years at the latest.

New recommendations for CVD risk assessment and management were published today in the Medical Journal of Australia.

See all Close the gap articles in the MJA Journal HERE

The recommendations were endorsed by the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation, Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, Central Australian Rural Practitioners Association and the Australian Chronic Disease Prevention Alliance, led by the Heart Foundation.

The approach to early screening was developed in partnership with the Australian National University’s Aboriginal Reference Group (Thiitu Tharrmay) and other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders in CVD prevention.

Take home messages

  1. Most heart attacks and strokes can be prevented, and in the last 20 years, the rate of deaths from CVD in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders peoples has almost halved.
  2. High risk of cardiovascular disease begins early among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and is mainly due to diabetes and renal diseaseIt is recommended that there should be:
    1. Combined early screening for diabetes, chronic kidney disease and cardiovascular disease risk factors from the age of 18 years. This should include assessment of blood glucose level or glycated haemoglobin, estimated glomerular filtration rate, serum lipids, urine albumin to creatinine ratio, and other risk factors such as blood pressure, history of familial hypercholesterolaemia, and smoking status.
    2. Assessment of absolute CVD risk using an Australian CVD risk calculator from the age of 30 years. Outside of Communicare, the best CVD risk calculator to use is auscvdrisk.com.au/risk-calculator/
  3. What you can do: Assessment of CVD risk as part of a health check. The most important part of this check-up is working with your doctor to manage your risk factors to improve your heart health and help you live a healthier, longer life.

” Around 80% of heart attacks and strokes can be prevented with optimal care. Cardiovascular disease (CVD) remains a leading contributor to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mortality despite a 40% decrease in deaths in the past two decades and significant decreases in smoking prevalence.

High risk of CVD begins early among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, mainly in people with diabetes and/or renal disease.

Our program of work, funded by the Australian Government Department of Health, is focused on improving prevention of cardiovascular disease for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples through:

  • Revision and alignment of clinical practice guidelines ( see part 2 below )
  • Revision and enhanced Medicare Benefits Schedule items for prevention of chronic disease
  • Workforce education and engagement

See ANU program website

Read over 80 Aboriginal Heart health articles published by NACCHO over past 8 Years 

Read over 100 Aboriginal and Stroke articles published by NACCHO over past 8 years 

To combat high risk of heart attack and strokes, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should have had their heart checked by a GP by age 18 at the latest, according to new national recommendations.

As part of a regular health check with a GP, the recommendations launched today have moved the age Indigenous people should get screened for Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) down from 35 to 18.

Based on research from The Australian National University (ANU), a host of health professionals and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander CVD experts have agreed on the latest efforts to continue closing the gap on early heart attacks among Indigenous Australians.

“We have seen great improvements in CVD prevention and this was highlighted in this year’s Closing the Gap speech,” said ANU lead researcher, Dr Jason Agostino.

“However, it remains a leading cause of preventable death in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. We need to be doing all we can to prevent it.

“Just about every Aboriginal person I know has a family member or a community member who’s died young from a heart attack or stroke. We need to change that.

“We can improve things by picking up conditions like diabetes and kidney disease early and starting conversations about treatment.”

In the last 20 years, the rate of deaths from heart attacks and strokes among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders peoples have almost halved.

However, three out of four Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults under 35 have at least one CVD risk factor.

Rheumatic Heart Disease Australia’s Senior Cultural Advisor, Vicki Wade, is a 62-year-old cardiac nurse who has heart disease. She said it is important to remind community and health workers about the risks of CVD.

“Although rates have improved, the statistics are frightening. We have generations of Aboriginal people who are not seeing their grandchildren growing up because of heart attack and stroke,” Mrs Wade said.

“This is a chance for local solutions, community engagement and health workers to be educated.”

Fellow author, Heart Foundation Chief Medical Adviser, cardiologist Professor Garry Jennings, said: “Evidence shows that Indigenous Australians have CVD risk factors like diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol at a young age. We need to prevent, identify and treat these.”

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders should now undergo CVD risk factor screening from 18 years, at the latest, and use Australian CVD risk calculators from age 30.

“It’s easy to do. The assessment involves the normal parts of a health check with a blood and urine test. It is quick and can be done by your local GP,” said Dr Agostino.

“For the vast majority it will be bulk-billed and free.”

The move is backed by the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation, The Australian Chronic Disease Prevention Alliance, and the Editorial Committee for Remote Primary Health Care Manuals.

“This is about getting consistency everywhere. This is what Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders and the evidence is telling us we should do,” Dr Agostino said.

“Many GPs are already screening as early as 15 but some GPs and nurses don’t know about the need to test early.

“This is about doing what we can to pick up risk factors early and close the gap on early heart attacks and strokes.”

RACGP Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Chair, Associate Professor Peter O’Mara welcomed the new recommendations, saying they could make a real difference in improving health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

“We cannot hope to close the gap without making evidence-based changes – these new recommendations are a positive step to improving early detection and treatment of CVD.

“The RACGP has over 40,000 members, including 10,000 members in the faculty of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health. While many GPs know about early screening not all do. These new recommendations will help spread awareness among GPs, improving access to early screening and quality care.”

Under the new recommendations, young adults with type 2 diabetes and microalbuminuria, kidney disease, and very high blood pressure or high cholesterol will be identified as high- risk of CVD.

Want more information and resources?

A team at ANU is developing a toolkit on risk communication in CVD: Healing Heart Communities. Designed as a resource for all clinical staff in primary care, it aims to support conversations about CVD risk.

During development, the team has consulted the Australian National University’s Aboriginal Reference Group (Thiitu Tharrmay) and partnered with We are Saltwater People, an Indigenous-owned graphic design company based in QLD to create original artwork, design and layout.

You can find these initial resources here: [

NACCHO Aboriginal Mental Health News : Download @MenziesResearch and @orygen_aus A practice guide for ‘Improving the Social and Emotional Wellbeing of Young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

 ” Menzies Research and Orygen Australia have developed & just published a practice guide for ‘Improving the Social and Emotional Wellbeing of Young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’.

Little is known about how best to practically meet the social and emotional wellbeing (SEWB) needs of young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, particularly those with severe and complex mental health needs.

Yet, there is an urgent need for health programs and services to be more responsive to the mental health needs of this population.

Based on recent statistics, 67 per cent of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people aged 4-14 years have experienced one or more of the following stressors:

  • death of family/friend;
  • being scared or upset by an argument or someone’s behaviour; and
  • keeping up with school work. “

Download the Report HERE ( See PDF for all research references )

orygen-Practice-Guide-to-improve-the-social-and-emotional-wellbeing-of-young-Aboriginal-and-Torres-Strait-Islander-people

Read over 250 Aboriginal Mental Health articles published by NACCHO over past 8 Years

It is well documented that there are:

  • high rates of psychological distress, mental health conditions, and suicide noted among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people when compared to non-Aboriginal young people;
  • a lack of evidence-based and culturally informed resources to educate and assist health professionals to work with this population; and
  • notable gaps between knowledge and practice, which limits opportunities to improve the SEWB of young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

This promising practice guide draws on an emerging, yet disparate, evidence-base about promising practices aimed at improving the SEWB of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people. It aims to support service providers, commissioners, and policy-makers to adopt strengths-based, equitable and culturally responsive approaches that better meet the SEWB needs of this high-risk population.

Rationale

The Australian Government appointed Orygen to provide Australia’s 31 Primary Health Networks (PHNs) with expert leadership and support in commissioning youth mental health initiatives.

Orygen has subsequently commissioned Menzies School of Health Research to identify and document promising practice service approaches in improving SEWB among young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with severe and complex mental health needs. This promising practice guide is an output of that work.

What do we know about the social and emotional wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people?

It is recognised that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander societies provided the optimal condition for their community members’ mental health and social and emotional wellbeing before European settlement.

However, the Australian Psychological Society has acknowledged that these optimal conditions have been continuously eroded through colonisation in parallel with an increase in mental health concerns.2

There is clear evidence about the disproportionate burden of SEWB and mental health concerns experienced among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. The key contributors to the disease burden among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people aged 10-24 years are:1 suicide and self-inflicted injuries (13 per cent), anxiety disorder (eight per cent) and alcohol use disorders (seven per cent).3

Based on recent statistics, 67 per cent of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people aged 4-14 years have experienced one or more of the following stressors:

  • death of family/friend;
  • being scared or upset by an argument or someone’s behaviour; and
  • keeping up with school work.4

The stressors have a cumulative impact as these children transition into adolescence and early adulthood. Another study has shown that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people are at higher risk of emotional and behavioural difficulties.5

This is linked to major life stress events such as family dysfunction; being in the care of a sole parent or other carers; having lived in a lot of different homes; being subjected to racism; physical ill-health of young people and/or carers; carer access to mental health services; and substance use disorders. These factors are all closely intertwined.

Relevant national frameworks and action plans

The Implementation Plan for the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Plan 2013-2023 (2015) was developed by the Australian Government Department of Health in close consultation with the National Health Leadership Forum. It has a strong emphasis on a whole-of-government approach to addressing the key priorities identified throughout the plan.

The overarching vision is to ensure that the strategies and actions of the plan respond to the health and wellbeing needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people across their life course. This includes a focus on young people.6

The National Strategic Framework for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples’ Mental Health and Social and Emotional Wellbeing 2017-2023 provides more specific direction by highlighting the importance of preventive actions that focus on children and young people.7 This includes:

  • strengthening the foundation;
  • promoting wellness;
  • building capacity and resilience in people and groups at risk;
  • provide care for people who are mildly or moderately ill; and
  • care for people living with severe mental illness.

In addition, the National Action Plan for the Health of Children and Young People 2020-2030 identifies building health equity, including principles of proportionate universalism, as a key action area and identifies Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people as a priority population.8

Social and emotional wellbeing frameworks relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

 

Over the past decades, multiple frameworks have been developed to support the SEWB of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Australia.4-8 These have identified some common elements, domains, principles, action areas and methods.7, 9-12

One of the most comprehensive frameworks is the National Strategic Framework for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples’ Mental Health and Social and Emotional Wellbeing 2017-2023, which has a foundation of development over many years.13

It has nine guiding principles:

  1. Health as a holistic concept: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health is viewed in a holistic context that encompasses mental health and physical, cultural and spiritual health. Land is central to wellbeing. Crucially, it must be understood that while the harmony of these interrelations is disrupted, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ill-health will persist.
  2. The right to self-determination: Self-determination is central to the provision of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health services and considered a fundamental human right.
  3. The need for cultural understanding: Culturally valid understandings must shape the provision of services and must guide assessment, care and management of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ health problems generally and mental health concerns more specifically. This necessitates a culturally safe and responsive approach through health program and service delivery.
  4. The impact of history in trauma and loss: It must be recognised that the experiences of trauma and loss, a direct result of colonialism, are an outcome of the disruption to cultural wellbeing. Trauma and loss of this magnitude continue to have intergenerational impacts.
  5. Recognition of human rights: The human rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples must be recognised and respected. Failure to respect these human rights constitutes continuous disruption to mental health (in contrast to mental illness/ill health). Human rights specifically relevant to mental illness must be addressed.
  6. The impact of racism and stigma: Racism, stigma, environmental adversity and social disadvantage constitute ongoing stressors and have negative impacts on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ mental health and wellbeing.
  7. Recognition of the centrality of kinship: The centrality of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander family and kinship must be recognised as well as the broader concepts of family and the bonds of reciprocal affection, responsibility and sharing.
  8. Recognition of cultural diversity: There is no single Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander culture or group, but numerous groupings, languages, kinship systems and tribes. Furthermore, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people live in a range of urban, rural or remote settings where expressions of culture and identity may differ.
  9. Recognition of Aboriginal strengths: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have great strengths, creativity and endurance and a deep understanding of the relationships between human beings and their environment.13

While the principles outlined above are not specific to young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, they are considered to be appropriate within the context of adopting a holistic life-course approach.

What’s happening in practice?

This promising practice guide attempts to collate disparate strands of evidence that relate to enhancing youth mental health; improving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander SEWB; and strategies for addressing severe and complex mental health needs.

It has been well documented that there are significant limitations in the evaluation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health programs and services across Australia.22-24 The Australian Governments’ Productivity Commission Inquiry into

Mental Health and the Lowitja Institute are, at the time of producing this document, looking at ways to strengthen work in this space.24, 25

In the absence of high-quality evaluation reports, the term ‘promising practice’ is used throughout this guide.

This is consistent with the terminology used by the Australian Psychological Society through its project about SEWB and mental health services in Australia (http://www.sewbmh.org.au/).

It adopts a strengths-based approach26 which acknowledges and celebrates efforts made to advance work in this space in the absence of strong practice-based evidence.

This is achieved through the presentation of five active case studies.

These reflect organizational, systems and practice focused service model examples. The principles included in the National Strategic Framework for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples’ Mental Health and Social and Emotional Wellbeing 2017-2023 have been mapped against each case study to illustrate how these privilege Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ways of knowing, doing and being.

Each case study includes generic background information to provide important contextual information; key messages or lessons learned, and reflections from staff involved in the project.

They have been developed in consultation with both the commissioning PHN and the service/organisation funded to develop and/or deliver the framework, program and service. Where possible, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander stakeholders were consulted during the development of the case studies.

Need help ?

Contact your nearest ACCHO or

If the situation is an emergency please call 000
If you wish to speak to someone immediately who can help call:

Kids Help Line

1800 55 1800
www.kidshelpline.com.au

Lifeline Australia

13 11 14
www.lifeline.org.au

NACCHO Aboriginal Health Resources Alert : Download @HealthInfoNet Overview of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health status 2019 : Continuing to show important positive developments for our mob

In the Overview we strive to provide an accurate and informative summary of the current health and well-being of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

In doing so, we want to acknowledge the importance of adopting a strengths-based approach, and to recognise the increasingly important area of data sovereignty.

To this end, we have reduced our reliance on comparative data in favour of exploring the broad context of the lived experience of Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander people and how this may impact their health journey “

HealthInfoNet Director, Professor Neil Drew

The Overview of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health status (Overview) aims to provide a comprehensive summary of the most recent indicators of the health and current health status of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Download HERE 

Overview+of+Aboriginal+and+Torres+Strait+Islander+health+status+2019

The annual Overview contains updated information across many health conditions.

It shows there has been a range of positive signs including a decrease in death rates, infant mortality rates and a decline in death rates from avoidable causes as well as a reduction in the proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who smoke.

It has also been found that fewer mothers are smoking and drinking alcohol during pregnancy meaning that babies have a better start to life.

The initial sections of the Overview provide information about:

  • the context of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health
  • social determinants including education, employment and income
  • the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population
  • measures of population health status including births, mortality and hospitalisation.

The remaining sections are about selected health conditions and risk and protective factors that contribute to the overall health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

These sections include an introduction and evidence of the extent of the condition or risk/protective factor. Information is provided for state and territories and for demographics such as sex and age when it is available and appropriate.

The Overview is a resource relevant for the health workforce, students and others requiring access to up-to-date information about the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

This year, the focus will be mainly on the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander data and presentation is within the framework of the strength based approach and data sovereignty (where information is available).

As a data driven organisation, the HealthInfoNet has a publicly declared commitment to working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders to advance our understanding of data sovereignty and governance consistent with the principles and aspirations of the Maiam nayri Wingara Data Sovereignty Collective (https://www.maiamnayriwingara.org).

As we have done in previous years, we continue our strong commitment to developing strengths based approaches to assessing and reporting the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities.

It is difficult to make comparisons between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and non- Indigenous Australian populations without consideration of the cultural and social contexts within which people live their lives.

As in past versions, we still provide information on the cultural context and social determinants for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population.

However, for the selected health topics and risk/protective factors we have removed many of the comparisons between the two populations and focused on the analysis of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander data only.

In an attempt to respond to the challenge issued by Professor Craig Ritchie at the 2019 AIATSIS conference to say more about the ‘how’ and the ‘why’ not just the ‘what’ where comparisons are made and if there is evidence available, we have provided a brief explanation for the differences observed.

Accompanying the Overview is a set of PowerPoint slides designed to help lecturers and others provide up-to-date information.

  • 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 Islander.
  • 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.

Download the PowerPoint HERE

Overview+of+Aboriginal+and+Torres+Strait+Islander+health+status+2019_+key+facts

NACCHO Aboriginal Health and @END_RHD Our CEO Pat Turner and @jcarapetis deliver a heart-felt evidence-based Aileen Plant Oration @_PHAA_ #CDCConference2019 on Ending #RHD in Australia #ClosingTheGap

At END RHD, our vision is simple: that no child born in Australia today dies of rheumatic heart disease.

And in theory, it should be just that, simple, because RHD has already been eliminated in Australia’s non-Indigenous population. 94% of people who get RHD are our mob.

Despite widespread improvements to the living standards of most Australians, our First Nation’s people continue to experience disadvantage and conditions that perpetuate the spread of infectious diseases.

In my mind, there is no clearer example of a disease of disparity than rheumatic heart disease.

At NACCHO, we became a founding partner of END RHD not because this disease is a simple fix, but because it is hard.

Because it spans from housing, to clinics, to open heart surgery, and highlights the inequalities within the health system, and in outcomes. “

Pat Turner CEO NACCHO delivering this year’s Aileen Joy Plant Oration with END RHD Co-Chair, Professor Jonathan Carapetis. See Pats speech Part 2 below

Part 1 PHAA Press Release 

Download the full Press Release

PHAA RHD Press Release

The conference was run by the Public Health Association of Australia (PHAA) and delegates got a sneak preview on an end game strategy to rid Australia of RHD – a detailed report that is due for formal release early next year.

“It’s a strategy that relies on partnerships and empowering Indigenous people,” said Professor Jonathan Carapetis, Executive Director, Telethon Kids Institute

“The time has never been better for us to control this disease.”

Researchers are looking at new formulations so that sufferers don’t have to have monthly penicillin

injections for years. “An implant is being worked on,” Professor Carapetis said.

“For 25 years we’ve all been looking at silver bullets and not seeing improvements but we should have hope as we now pull together all we know especially the environmental determinants.”

“We should be able to reduce RHD prevalence by 70 percent,” Professor Carapetis said.

“It’s complex but not overwhelming. It involves multiple sectors and a comprehensive response.”

“The Australian Government is funding the development of a Strep A vaccine. There is progress in the field as we move towards a trial. But that won’t result in a vaccine for our kids for a decade.”

 

Part 2 Pat Turners Speech 

As an Aboriginal woman of Gurdanji-Arrernte heritage, I wish to acknowledge the Ngunnawal people as the traditional owners of the land where we meet today.

I also acknowledge our continuing and vibrant First Nation’s cultures. I am grateful for the contributions of our past, present, and emerging leaders.

Today, I stand here wearing two hats. As CEO of the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation – NACCHO – and as Co-Chair of END RHD, an alliance of peaks, community and research organisations committed to ending rheumatic heart disease in Australia.

It gives me great honour to be here today to deliver this year’s Aileen Joy Plant Oration with my END RHD Co-Chair, Professor Jonathan Carapetis.

RHD begins with a sore throat or a skin sore caused by Strep A.

For our children, these are common infections – but the impact can last a lifetime.

A lifetime which, too often, is cut short.

There is no cure for RHD, but patients must undergo a painful injection of antibiotics every 28 days for at least a decade to keep their heart as strong as possible. Some must also undergo surgery to have their heart valves replaced or repaired.

In our work to close the gap, there are many priorities. Our people are telling us that. There is just so much to be done, we can’t afford to have ‘favourite’ diseases.

But RHD sticks out. It is the greatest cause of cardiovascular inequality for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in this country. Non-Indigenous people, literally, just don’t get it.

In the Kimberley, the average age of death of people living with RHD is just 41 years old. This is a chronic, life-limiting disease… and it starts from a skin sore or sore throat.

We get it because of crowded houses. Because a lot of our people don’t always have access to hot water. To showers that work. To washing machines that aren’t broken.

We get it because our clinics are overwhelmed with demand, and sometimes skin sores and sore throats go untreated.

We get it because acute rheumatic fever gets missed and sometimes it is too late for treatment.

At NACCHO, we became a founding partner of END RHD not because this disease is a simple fix, but because it is hard. ( Partners in this image )

Because it spans from housing, to clinics, to open heart surgery, and highlights the inequalities within the health system, and in outcomes.

Because tackling this disease offers a way to significantly close the gap.

We are fighting to prevent the next generation of our children experiencing this needless suffering. And we are fighting for our people already living with the disease.

Kids like Tenaya, who you can see in this photo

Read Tenaya’s full story Here

You wouldn’t know it from that gorgeous smile, but when I met Tenaya at the start of the year, she had recently been flown down to Perth in a critical condition suffering from heart failure. Her mother had taken her to the local hospital three times, and each time she had been sent home.

The fourth time, her mother refused to leave until she was flown to Perth, where upon arrival, she was rushed to the intensive care unit and put on life-support for two weeks.

A month later, when she was strong enough, she underwent two rounds of open-heart surgery.

Tenaya is seven years old. And she’ll need monthly injections until she is twenty-one. Most likely, she’ll need further surgery too.

She bears both the physical scars of her surgery, and the emotional scars of months spent away from friends, family and her community.

Her mum says that every time she sees a nurse she bursts into tears, terrified.

And on top of all of that, her family have been forced to make the tough decision to move off country to be closer to the specialist medical treatment needed to keep her alive.

The fact that this suffering was caused by a preventable disease is horrifying.

The fact that RHD persists in a country as wealthy as Australia is a national shame.

The fact that without urgent investment, it’s predicted another 10,000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children will develop the disease by 2031, is unconscionable.

We cannot let it happen.

Our people know what needs to happen to end RHD in this country.

In fact, community-driven work is already underway across Australia.

Our communities are rising. They are demanding support.

In March this year, a historic Partnership Agreement on Closing the Gap was signed between COAG and the Coalition of Peaks, and a joint council was formed of which I am Co-Chair.

This means that now, for the first time, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, through their peak body representatives, will share decision making with governments on Closing the Gap.

The Partnership Agreement embodies the belief of all signatories that:

  • When Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are included and have a real say in the design and delivery of services that impact on them, the outcomes are far better;
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples need to be at the centre of Closing the Gap policy: the gap won’t close without our full involvement; and
  • COAG cannot expect us to take responsibility and work constructively with them to improve outcomes if we are excluded from the decision making.

Rheumatic heart disease exemplifies the gap in health outcomes between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and non-Indigenous Australians.

And we know that by addressing the causes, we can also eliminate other linked conditions that unfairly blight our people such as scabies, otitis media, and kidney disease.

We cannot, and will not, close the gap without ending rheumatic heart disease.

Right now, we have the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leadership and community demand to tackle this disease.

We have a commitment from government to equal partnership in our work to close the gap.

And with over 25 years of research behind us, we have a strong evidence-base to support this community-driven work.

 

 

NACCHO Alert June 22 todays @ahmrc and @NSWHealth 5 th #IndigenousHealthSummit : Download the full program : Aboriginal Health “ Is it time to reset?”

 ” The NSW Government committed to reset its relationship with Aboriginal communities following the release of its Aboriginal affairs plan OCHRE: Opportunity, Choice, Healing, Responsibility, Empowerment in 2013.

This commitment came in response to overwhelming community sentiment that services to First Peoples must be provided “with” First Peoples, not “to” or “at” them. This is as true for health services, as it is other services.

First Peoples have long called for co-design of services and programs delivered or funded by Government. Preventative and early intervention measures that are co-designed and delivered by Aboriginal communities are essential to achieving better health outcomes.

The Aboriginal community-controlled health sector in Australia is leading the way in this regard, and must meet the challenge of sustaining these approaches.”

Jason Ardler will be one of five Aboriginal panelists for the Summit session on: “Why do we need to reset?”

As Head of NSW Aboriginal Affairs, he is  responsible to the Secretary of the NSW Department of Education, and was recognised in the recent Queen’s Birthday Honours for outstanding public service to Indigenous people in NSW. He talked to Croakey ahead of the Summit. You can follow him on Twitter at @JasonArdler.

“With the theme ‘Aboriginal Health – It’s Time to Reset’, we acknowledge that we need new ways of working to achieve meaningful change in the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people must be leading conversations about health and wellbeing and this requires government agencies to make space for this to happen”.

Welcome message from Elizabeth Koff, Secretary of NSW Health, who acknowledges the need to privilege Aboriginal voices.

The need for new ways of working and for government agencies to make space so Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people can lead the conversations on health and wellbeing is the focus of a major national Indigenous Health Summit to be held this Friday (22 June) in Sydney.

The 5th Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Summit – a biennial event of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Standing Committee, established by the Australian Health Ministers Advisory Council (AHMAC) – is being co-hosted by the NSW Ministry of Health’s Centre for Aboriginal Health and the Aboriginal Health & Medical Research Council of NSW (AH&MRC).

Download the full program and see all the speakers and panelists

IndigenousHealthSummitProgram

Summer May Finlay, a Yorta Yorta woman, public health researcher and Croakey contributing editor, is covering the #IndigenousHealthSummit for the Croakey Conference News Service and sets the scene for the day’s agenda in the article below.

See also below a quick Q&A with Jason Ardler, Head of NSW Aboriginal Affairs, on what he hopes will emerge from the Summit – including the strong message that he says came from NSW Aboriginal communities to the state’s health system to “prioritise healing”, in order to keep people out of the service system in the first place.

Finlay will live tweet from each of the sessions on Friday, conduct live interviews on Periscope (via Twitter) at @ontopicaus, and later file a big wrap of the discussions.

Among those speaking and presenting at the Summit are Federal Indigenous Health and Aged Care Minister Ken Wyatt, NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard, journalist Stan Grant, researcher Dr Gregory Phillips, Congress of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nurses and Midwives (CATSINaM) CEO Janine Mohamed, and University of Tasmania Pro-Vice Chancellor (Aboriginal Research and Leadership) Professor Maggie Walter and University of Sydney Acting Pro-Vice Chancellor Professor Juanita Sherwood.

Click here for the full program or see all the speakers and panelists at the bottom of this post.

Summer May Finlay writes:

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have poorer health and wellbeing than other Australians. This is well known. The ongoing gap is despite increased investment in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health, under the Closing the Gap Framework, which was introduced by the Coalition of Australian Governments in 2009.

So what is happening? What needs to be done? Why are the current solutions not working? And what policies need to be in place to see real and meaningful change? Ultimately the lack of substantive change means it’s time to “reset” the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health approach. This cannot and should not be done without Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

“Aboriginal health – it’s time to reset” is the theme for the 5th National Health Summit being held in Sydney on Friday 22 June. The summit is hosted by the New South Wales Ministry of Health and the Aboriginal Health & Medical Research Council of NSW.

With a program that features almost entirely Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, the Summit will be a meeting of the top policymakers in the country, both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous, and from the government and the non-government sectors. They are the people who can drive a reset agenda.

One summit will not and cannot address the health outcomes and change policy overnight. What it can do is assist in shifting the approach. Shift the underlying ideology away from being government-led to community-led. And a shift is what is required. There is no hiding that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, the country’s first peoples, the traditional owners of this land, have always fared worse than those who have subsequently migrated here.

To call for a reset is brave. The agenda is bold, courageous even. The first panel discussion, with only Aboriginal presenters, will outline why a reset is required. An all-Aboriginal panel is making a statement: that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people need to be leading the way if we are to indeed reset.

The second panel, which is mostly Aboriginal, asks “How do we reset?” with a focus on Aboriginal community-led ways to wellness and health. Since the National Aboriginal Health Strategy, the first national attempt to address Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health, there has been a call from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities for community-led solutions.

The concept of community-led solutions is not new; however, rarely have we seen policy that genuinely embraces this approach, which is why it is essential it is on the agenda for the National Summit.

Where to from here?

The afternoon session includes a short update on the Closing the Gap Refresh by Professor Ian Anderson, the Deputy Secretary for Indigenous Affairs, Prime Minister and Cabinet. With much of the consultation already completed, it will be interesting to see how the Refresh will align with the approaches suggested during the National Summit.

The meat of the day, however, and probably the most challenging session will be the last: “Where to from here?” This will be led by Professor Kerry Arabena, Chair for Indigenous Health and Director of the Indigenous Health Equity Unit at the University of Melbourne, and journalist, author and filmmaker Dr Jeff McMullen.

Change is challenging. It means that each individual needs to look at their own ways of working and consider how they are contributing to the status quo, i.e. the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health disparity.

It is in the uncomfortable that I believe we will see real change. The uncomfortable is where we start to question and review our own underlying beliefs and attitudes. It is through this process that we can shift our own ways of doing business to assist in creating a better future for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Some of the attendees, an invitation-only group from across government, health and social sector organisations, and research institutions, may be stretched beyond their comfort zones; however, there is no doubt that all levels of governments and non-government sectors want to work towards better outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Those who are there on Friday hopefully will walk away feeling reset themselves and with a renewed vigour for the work ahead.

Resetting the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health agenda: it’s not an easy task but a necessary one for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and all Australians.

Part 2 Q&A with Jason Ardler, Head of NSW Aboriginal Affairs

Summer May Finlay

Q: Why is the theme important to you?

Jason Ardler:

A: The NSW Government committed to reset its relationship with Aboriginal communities following the release of its Aboriginal affairs plan OCHRE: Opportunity, Choice, Healing, Responsibility, Empowerment in 2013.

This commitment came in response to overwhelming community sentiment that services to First Peoples must be provided “with” First Peoples, not “to” or “at” them. This is as true for health services, as it is other services.

First Peoples have long called for co-design of services and programs delivered or funded by Government. Preventative and early intervention measures that are co-designed and delivered by Aboriginal communities are essential to achieving better health outcomes.

The Aboriginal community-controlled health sector in Australia is leading the way in this regard, and must meet the challenge of sustaining these approaches.

Summer May Finlay

Q: What is the one point you hope to get across at the Summit?

Jason Ardler:

A: When the NSW Government asked Aboriginal communities in 2011 what a new Aboriginal affairs plan should include, Aboriginal people across the state warned us that if we continued to focus on providing services to fix people up, we would continue to achieve the same poor outcomes.

Instead, we were told to prioritise keeping people out of the service system in the first place – and that means prioritising healing.

Intergenerational trauma is a significant issue for First Nations’ families and communities and healing is essential to improved health and wellbeing outcomes. As one young person said in the National Youth Healing Forum Report: “We need increased focus on positive programs that keep people happy and healthy rather than only targeting them at crisis point.”

Healing is a process that is necessarily different for every individual, family and community – which is why “co-design” with the First Peoples is critical.

Summer May Finlay:

Q: What do you recommend people read or watch in the lead up to the event?

Jason Ardler:

Healing: www.aboriginalaffairs.nsw.gov.au/healing-and-reparations/healing

Local decision making: www.aboriginalaffairs.nsw.gov.au/working-differently/local-decision-making

About our research agenda: https://www.aboriginalaffairs

NACCHO Aboriginal Health #CloseTheGap Workforce and Training : @IAHA_National and the Aboriginal Medical Services Alliance #NT @AMSANTaus launch the Northern Territory Aboriginal Health Academy #NTAHA

 

“Investment and support from our local organisations, employers and governments will ensure the success of the Northern Territory Aboriginal Health Academy (NTAHA)

Schools, students and community need to know this will be a secure and sustainable approach to building our local workforce, many of whom will stay in our communities’ long term

A key principle of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Plan is Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community control and engagement, with culture the main overarching priority.

 The NT Aboriginal Health Academy has been unsuccessful in gaining the financial support it requires. However, we have had strong support from key stakeholders such as NT Department of Education, NT Department of Health, Charles Darwin University, Flinders University and the Industry Skills Advisory Council NT “

AMSANT CEO John Paterson

Picture above Creating a strong pathway for their 20 deadly Indigenous youth in to health

 ” This partnership with AMSANT to grow and develop the nation’s future leaders in health is critical to the success of the Academy. Growing the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander allied health workforce is critically important in providing sustainable, culturally-responsive holistic healthcare.

An increase in the number of qualified Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health professionals is needed to positively address workforce shortages in rural and remote communities across the NT.

Already, we are seeing students and their families engaging, and young mothers re-engaging in education through the Academy. They see it as a more flexible and meaningful pathway to sustainable employment in our communities .

If Governments are truly committed to Closing the Gap then there needs to be greater support shown for community-driven initiatives like the NT Aboriginal Health Academy,”

IAHA CEO Donna Murray.

Indigenous Allied Health Australia (IAHA) and the Aboriginal Medical Services Alliance Northern Territory (AMSANT)  launch the Northern Territory Aboriginal Health Academy (NTAHA).

The Health Academy will increase the number of young Aboriginal people completing year 12 and entering into the health workforce.

This project is an innovative community led learning model that is about re-shaping and redesigning how training is delivered to Aboriginal students in high school years.

The model is strengths based and centered on ensuring training and education is delivered in a way that embeds the centrality of culture and has a holistic approach to health and wellbeing.

The model is designed to work collaboratively across health disciplines and sectors. There is an urgent, real need for health professions in sectors such as primary health care, disability, mental health, allied health, medicine and aged care; for providing a sustainable education, training and workforce development approach in the Northern Territory.

From Wednesday opening

“If Governments are truly committed to Closing the Gap then there needs to be greater support shown for community-driven initiatives like the NT Aboriginal Health Academy,” said Ms Murray.

ENDS

Indigenous Allied Health Australia is a national member-based Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander allied health organisation.

AMSANT is the peak body for Aboriginal community-controlled health services (ACCHSs) in the Northern Territory and has played a pivotal role in advocating for and supporting the development of community-controlled health.

 

NACCHO Aboriginal #Sexualhealth #WorldAidsDay #UANDMECANSTOPHIV Community embraces Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander 2017 #HIV Awareness Week

Ahiv

 ” With diagnoses and rates of HIV in Aboriginal communities at an all-time high since 1992, this year’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander HIV Awareness Week (ATSIHAW) is more important than ever. Now in its fourth year, the role of ATSIHAW is to engage Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities across Australia in HIV prevention.

ATISHAW is an opportunity to promote action, awareness and advocacy at all levels of government and community, to provide much needed resources to address the rising rates of HIV,

Action is required in policy, programming, clinical service delivery; awareness is required across communities and in clinical settings; and advocacy is required at all levels of health service delivery and governments.”

Associate Professor James  Ward

Ajw

The theme of this year’s National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander HIV Awareness Week is ‘U and Me Can Stop HIV’ and we know that education and awareness are vitally important in our battle against HIV and STIs,”

We have had a variety of media resources available but until now, only a small number have been culturally appropriate for Indigenous people.

With messages like ‘Looking after our mob starts with looking after ourselves’, these new videos are more likely to cut through, especially to younger Aboriginal people, who are most vulnerable to these infections.”.

Minister for Indigenous Health, Ken Wyatt AM, this week officially released the videos, and an accompanying range of social and print media resources, at the launch of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander HIV Awareness Week.

Three animated education and awareness videos focus on HIV, STIs and PrEP (a daily medication that can prevent HIV), which aim to enhance awareness of HIV prevention. These are housed on the website  www.atsihiv.org.au,

Watch 1 of 3 Videos HERE

ATSIHAW 2017 runs from Monday, 27 November to Sunday, 3 December. The Federal Minister for Indigenous Health, the Hon Ken Wyatt AM, MP, officially launched ATSIHAW on Wednesday, 29 November at a breakfast hosted by Senator Dean Smith, Chair of the Parliamentary Friends of HIV/AIDS, Blood Borne Viruses and Sexually Transmitted Diseases.

file-5

Other dignitaries in attendance included : Senator Richard Di Natale, Leader of the Australian Greens; Professor Sharon Lewin, Chair of the Ministerial Advisory Committee on Blood Borne Viruses and Sexually Transmissible Infections; Dr Dawn Casey, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO);

Ms Michelle Tobin, Chair of the Positive Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Network (PATSIN) – a group representing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living with HIV); as well as other members of the Australian Parliament.

Concerning statistics

Recently released national data shows the rate of HIV diagnoses among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is now more than double the rate for the non-Indigenous Australian-born population. This rate has increased by 33 per cent during the last five years, while the rate in the non-Indigenous Australian-born population has decreased by 22 per cent in the same period – creating a new gap in health between the two populations.

Associate Professor James Ward, Head Infectious Diseases Research Aboriginal Health at the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI), and ATSIHAW committee member, said that this is absolutely unacceptable.

Over the last five years, significant differences have appeared in the HIV epidemic between the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population and the non-Indigenous Australian-born population. Although men who have sex with men make up the majority of cases in both groups (51 per cent vs 74 per cent), a greater proportion of Indigenous cases are because of injecting drug use (14 per cent vs three per cent) or through heterosexual sex (20 per cent vs. 14 per cent).

Ms Michelle Tobin said that more work is required to ensure there are strategies for all of these groups of people in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities rolled out, and that these have impact.

The other unique issue occurring in Australia is the continuing increase in HIV rates among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people each year, despite the major advances in HIV testing, diagnostics and treatment. Innovative HIV test-and-treat strategies and large-scale pre-exposure HIV prophylaxis trials (PrEP) trials have successfully engaged the gay community and are resulting in reductions across jurisdictions, but but to date, have had little impact in Aboriginal communities.

“We need to make sure that these strategies have impact on all of the Australian population – not just some”, Associate Professor Ward added.

“Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities are generally not benefiting from these advances.”

Community support; an important part of ATSIHAW

The overarching theme of ATSIHAW is ‘U AND ME CAN STOP HIV’. This highlights the strengths of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, and the role we can all play in preventing new HIV cases and improving the outcomes for people living with HIV.

This year, ATSIHAW is holding over 55 community events across Australia at Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services and other community services. The number of ATSIHAW events and strong social media engagement, demonstrates the growing sense of community responsibility for spreading awareness of the importance of HIV prevention.

Alice Springs this week

High-profile ambassadors for ATSIHAW have also been recruited, including Steven Oliver from ABC’s Black Comedy. Steven said that he’s involved in ATSIHAW because he wants to help fight and break down the stigma associated with HIV and those living with it.

Professor Kerry Arabena and Dr Pat Anderson AM are also Ambassadors for ATSIHAW, alongside 30 other community members who are all concerned about HIV in the communities.

New HIV resources for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities

A new set of resources will be launched by the Honourable Ken Wyatt AM, MP, Minister for Indigenous Health, including three animated education and awareness videos focusing on HIV, STIs and PrEP (a daily medication that can prevent HIV), which aim to enhance awareness of HIV prevention. These are housed on the website www.atsihiv.org.au, als

New animated videos voiced by young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are the latest weapons in the fight again HIV and sexually transmitted infections in Indigenous communities.

Part 2 Minister’s Press release

Minister for Indigenous Health, Ken Wyatt AM, this week  officially released the videos, and an accompanying range of social and print media resources, at the launch of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander HIV Awareness Week.

The videos have been developed specifically to counter the shame and stigma that can be associated with HIV.

“World Aids Day is on 1 December and it is important we take this opportunity to talk about the rates of HIV diagnosis in our Indigenous communities,” Minister Wyatt said.

“In the past 30, years Australia has made progress in reducing the rates of STIs, however, despite advances in testing and treatment we continue to see Indigenous STI and HIV diagnoses on the rise.”

In 2016, it was estimated that the HIV notification rate for Indigenous people was more than double the rate among non-Indigenous people, with a greater proportion of newly diagnosed HIV infection attributed to heterosexual contact and injecting drug use.

“Working together with Indigenous communities, the States, Territories and local health services, to counter these infections is a key Turnbull Government priority,” said Minister Wyatt.

“This includes $8 million to support a range of programs focussed on delivering culturally appropriate sexual health services, plus a further $8.8 million over three years to target priority areas including testing, education and awareness.

“We are also developing a long-term response to STIs and blood borne viruses in our Indigenous communities, with a proposed strategic approach and action plan due to be received by the Government in December.

“The ‘U and Me Can Stop HIV’ theme of this year’s National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander HIV Awareness Week is a timely reminder of the need to work together to improve sexual health.”

ATSIHAW is administered by SAHMRI, with funding provided by the Commonwealth Department of Health

 

NACCHO Aboriginal Health and #Obesity : Download @AIHW report : A picture of overweight and obesity in Australia

Obesity

 ” Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and adolescents are more likely to be overweight or obese than non-Indigenous children and adolescents.

In 2012–13, 30% of Indigenous children and adolescents aged 2–14 were overweight or obese, compared with 25% of their non-Indigenous counterparts. One in 10 (10%) Indigenous children and adolescents aged 2–14 were obese, compared with 7% of their non-Indigenous counterparts (ABS 2014a).

Prevalence among Indigenous children and adolescents see section 2 below

 ” In 2012–13, more than two-thirds (69%) of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults were overweight or obese (29% overweight but not obese, and 40% obese). Indigenous men (69%) and women (70%) had similar rates of overweight and obesity (ABS 2014a).

One-third (32%) of Indigenous men and more than one-quarter (27%) of Indigenous women were overweight but not obese, while 36% of Indigenous men, and 43% of Indigenous women were obese ”

Prevalence among Indigenous adults see section 3 below

Read over 30 NACCHO Aboriginal Health and Obesity articles

afile-5

Download AIHW Report HERE

aihw-phe-216.pdf

 ” Australian food ministers expect parents to make healthier choices for their families, but take no action on giving them the tools to know how much added sugar is in food. Shameful, given AIHW stats showing obesity has doubled in 2-5 year olds in the last 20 years.

 Health Ministers acknowledge that added sugar labelling is an issue but delay taking any action. Added sugar labelling has been delayed since 2011, this is very disappointing.”

Communique : The Australia and New Zealand Ministerial Forum on Food Regulation (the Forum) met in Melbourne Friday 24 Nov . The Forum is chaired by the Australian Government Assistant Minister for Health, Dr David Gillespie 

Download full Communique Forum Communique 24 November 2017

Sugar Labelling

In April 2017, the Forum Ministers agreed a work program on sugar that included:

  • ̵further evidence gathering activities by Food Standards Australia New Zealand on consumer understanding and behaviour;
  • ̵international approaches to sugar labelling; and
  • ̵an update of the policy context.

Noting the desire of Forum Ministers to take a whole-of-diet, holistic approach to food labelling, Forum Ministers considered that information about sugar provided on food labels does not provide adequate contextual information to enable consumers to make informed choices in support of dietary guidelines. Forum Ministers agreed to continue examining regulatory and non-regulatory options to address this issue.

Forum Ministers also noted the range of existing complementary initiatives outside of the food regulation system that address sugar intakes, such as the current review of the Health Star Rating system, policy work underway on the labelling of fats and oils, and the work of the Healthy Food Partnership.

Jane Martin Obesity Coalition updating our NACCHO Post from last week

NACCHO Aboriginal Health #sugar and #Sugardemic : Todays meeting of Health Ministers is a real chance to improve #HealthStarRatings for our Mob

Part 1 Executive summary

Overweight and obesity is a major public health issue in Australia. It results from a sustained energy imbalance—when energy intake from eating and drinking is greater than energy expended through physical activity.

This energy imbalance might be influenced by a person’s biological and genetic characteristics, and by lifestyle factors.

This report brings together a variety of information to create a picture of overweight and obesity in Australia.

It summarises factors that influence people’s energy intake and expenditure and contribute to the rising prevalence of overweight and obesity, as well as some approaches aiming to reduce its prevalence.

It presents the prevalence of overweight and obesity in children, adolescents, and adults, and includes trends over time, differences among population groups, and the health and economic impact of overweight and obesity.

One-quarter of children and adolescents are overweight or obese

In 2014–15, 1 in 5 (20%) children aged 2–4 were overweight or obese—11% were overweight but not obese, and 9% were obese.

About 1 in 4 (27%) children and adolescents aged 5–17 were overweight or obese—20% were overweight but not obese, and 7% were obese.

For both children aged 2–4 and 5–17 years, similar proportions of girls and boys were obese. For children aged 5–17, the prevalence of overweight and obesity rose from 21% in 1995 to 25% in 2007–08, then remained relatively stable to 2014–15.

Nearly two-thirds of adults are overweight or obese, and obesity is on the rise

In 2014–15, nearly two-thirds (63%) of Australian adults were overweight or obese. The prevalence of overweight and obesity has steadily increased, up from 57% in 1995—which has largely been driven by a rise in obesity.

The prevalence of severe obesity among Australian adults has almost doubled over this period, from 5% in 1995 to 9% in 2014–15.

In 2014–15, 71% of men were overweight or obese, compared with 56% of women. A greater proportion of men (42%) than women (29%) were overweight but not obese, while a similar proportion of men (28%) and women (27%) were obese.

More men than women were overweight or obese in 2014–15; a similar proportion were obese overweight or obese overweight but not obese

For children aged 5–17, the prevalence of overweight and obesity rose from 1995 to 2007–08 and remained relatively stable to 2014–15

Some groups are more likely to be overweight or obese than others

Compared with non-Indigenous Australians, Indigenous adults are more likely to be overweight or obese, and Indigenous children and adolescents are more likely to be obese.

Those who live outside of Major cities, or who are in the lower socioeconomic groups are more likely to be overweight or obese than others.

Overweight and obesity has high health and financial costs

Among adults, overweight and obesity has adverse health and economic impacts, including a higher risk of developing many chronic conditions, and of death (due to any cause).

Overweight and obesity was responsible for 7% of the total health burden in Australia in 2011, 63% of which was fatal burden. In 2011–12, obesity was estimated to have cost the Australian economy $8.6 billion.

Small changes, big health gains

If all Australians at risk of disease due to overweight or obesity reduced their body mass index by just 1 kilogram per metre squared, or about 3 kilograms for a person of average height, the overall health impact of excess weight would drop substantially.

Maintaining any weight loss is critical for long-term health gains.

Indigenous Australians and those living outside Major cities or who are in lower socioeconomic groups are more likely to be overweight or obese

Approaches for reducing overweight and obesity

Population health approaches to address overweight and obesity provide an opportunity for widespread benefit. They include laws and regulations, tax and price interventions, community-based interventions—including those in schools and workplaces—and public education through platforms such as social marketing campaigns.

Individual-level approaches are also important, and may either be preventive, or incorporate treatment strategies such as weight loss surgery.

Part 2 Prevalence among Indigenous children and adolescents

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and adolescents are more likely to be overweight or obese than non-Indigenous children and adolescents.

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In 2012–13, 30% of Indigenous children and adolescents aged 2–14 were overweight or obese, compared with 25% of their non-Indigenous counterparts. One in 10 (10%) Indigenous children and adolescents aged 2–14 were obese, compared with 7% of their non-Indigenous counterparts (ABS 2014a).

At age 15–17, 35% of Indigenous adolescents were overweight or obese, compared with 24% of non-Indigenous adolescents of the same age, and 14% of Indigenous adolescents were obese, double the proportion (7%) of non-Indigenous adolescents.

Indigenous boys and girls were most likely to be overweight but not obese at age 10–14 (26% for boys, and 25% for girls) (Figure 3.4), and they were most likely to be obese at age 15–17 for boys (17%), and 5–9 for girls (13%).

Part 3 Prevalence among Indigenous adults

In 2012–13, more than two-thirds (69%) of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults were overweight or obese (29% overweight but not obese, and 40% obese). Indigenous men (69%) and women (70%) had similar rates of overweight and obesity (ABS 2014a).

file3-1

One-third (32%) of Indigenous men and more than one-quarter (27%) of Indigenous women were overweight but not obese, while 36% of Indigenous men, and 43% of Indigenous women were obese.

Indigenous men were most likely to be overweight but not obese at age 45–54 (38%), and to be obese at 55 and over (47%). Indigenous women were most likely to be overweight but not obese at 55 and over (32%), and were more likely to be obese, rather than overweight but not obese, at all ages. This was most noticeable in women aged 45–54, who were more than twice as likely to be obese (51%) than overweight but not obese (25%) (Figure 4.7).

In 2012–13, after adjusting for differences in age structure, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults were 1.2 times as likely to be overweight or obese as non-Indigenous adults, and 1.6 times as likely to be obese (ABS 2014a).

Part 4 Prevalence by Primary Health Network area

There are 31 Primary Health Network (PHN) areas across Australia, and reporting at these smaller, local areas can provide results that could be masked in national-or state/territory-level results.

PHNs commission and connect health services within PHN area boundaries, which are defined by the Department of Health (Department of Health 2016). The information in this section relates to the population living within the area covered by a particular PHN.

In 2014–15, of measured PHN areas, the Country South Australia PHN area had the highest prevalence of overweight and obesity, at almost three-quarters of adults (73%) (Figure 4.8). The Northern Sydneyfile-5

PHN area had the lowest prevalence, with just over half of adults being overweight or obese (53%). Four PHN areas had proportions of overweight and obese adults of 70% or more—Country South Australia, Western New South Wales, Darling Downs and West Moreton (Queensland), and Western Victoria.

The prevalence of overweight and obesity among adults varied between metropolitan and regional PHN areas. In 2014–15, regional PHN areas had higher proportions of adults who were overweight and obese (69%) than metropolitan PHN areas (61%).

There was no significant difference between the proportion of overweight but not obese adults in metropolitan (36%) and regional (34%) PHN areas. But the difference was significant for obesity alone—more than one-third (35%) of adults in regional PHN areas were obese, compared with about one-quarter (24%) in metropolitan PHN areas (AIHW 2016e).

Structure of this report

  • Chapter 2 describes the factors that influence overweight and obesity in Australia, including food and nutrition, physical activity, sedentary behaviour, and the ‘obesogenic environment’.
  • Chapters 3 and 4 present the most recent Australian data on prevalence and trends in overweight and obesity, including breakdowns by remoteness area, socioeconomic group, and Indigenous status, as well as international comparisons of obesity prevalence, and data on overweight and obesity for Australian mothers during pregnancy.
  • Chapter 5 presents data on the health impacts of overweight and obesity in Australia, including chronic conditions, death, and the burden of disease associated with overweight and obesity, as well some of the direct and indirect economic impacts.
  • Chapter 6 describes approaches that have been implemented in Australia to target overweight and obesity at the individual level, such as weight loss surgery, and population level, including laws and regulations, tax and price interventions, community-based interventions, and health promotion measures.
  • Supplementary data tables for the data presented in figures throughout this report are available on the AIHW website at: <https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/overweight-obesity/ a-picture-of-overweight-and-obesity-in-australia/data>.

Table of contents

1 Introduction

  • Defining overweight and obesity
  • Measuring overweight and obesity in children
  • Structure of this report

 

2 Factors leading to overweight and obesity

◦Food and nutrition

◦Physical activity

◦The obesogenic environment ◾Schools

◾Workplace

◾Home and neighbourhood

◾Media influence

◾Increase in convenience foods and portion sizes

3 Overweight and obesity among children and adolescents

◦Prevalence of overweight and obesity in children and adolescents

◦Trends in prevalence

◦Prevalence by birth cohort

◦Prevalence by remoteness area

◦Prevalence by socioeconomic group

◦Prevalence among Indigenous children and adults

4 Overweight and obesity among adults

◦Prevalence of overweight and obesity in adults

◦Body mass index

◦Waist circumference

◦Trends in prevalence

◦Prevalence by birth cohort

◦Prevalence by remoteness area

◦Prevalence by socioeconomic group

◦Prevalence among Indigenous adults

◦Prevalence by Primary Health Network area

◦International comparisons

◦Maternal overweight and obesity

5 Impact of overweight and obesity

◦Health impacts

◾Chronic conditions

◾Mortality

◾Burden of disease

◦Economic impacts

6 Approaches for reducing overweight and obesity

◦Laws and regulations

◦Tax and price interventions

◦Community-based interventions

◦Health promotion

◦Weight loss surgery

  • Appendix A: Classification of overweight and obesity for children and adolescents
  • Appendix B: Defining socioeconomic groups
  • Appendix C: Measuring overweight and obesity
  • rates at Primary Health Network area level
  • Appendix D: State and territory policy actions and infrastructure support actions
  • Glossary
  • References
  • List of tables
  • List of figures
  • List of boxes
  • Related publications

Obesity

NACCHO Aboriginal Health and #WhiteRibbonDay : @HealingOurWay @WhiteRibbonAust Report calls for overhaul of #violenceprevention programs for #Indigenous men and boys

 

 

Awr

 Australia needs to overhaul violence prevention programs for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men and boys .

  A discussion paper released today by White Ribbon and the Healing Foundation said, “inappropriate and ill-targeted strategies” are not working to change the behaviour of violent Indigenous men.

Co-author Dr Mark Wenitong, a respected Aboriginal GP and men’s health expert from North Queensland, said generational trauma was not being addressed.”

Report

Download the Report Here

HF_Violence_Prevention_Framework_Report_Oct2017_V9_WEB 

“I think if you look at the current discourse in Australia it’s just heavier prison sentences and better policing,” he said.

“We can build lots more women’s shelters, but that’s not the point, we want it to stop.

Dr Wenitong, who works with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men in prison, said programs in jails did not appear to be effective.

“The prison offender programs are mostly mainstream programs … I talk to men in prison who go ‘that anger management program doesn’t mean anything when I go back to my community’,” he said.

The report said an urgent priority was “elevating the voice of men in family violence prevention”.

“Men do need to lead this, because it’s men who are the main perpetrators of violence,” Healing Foundation chief executive Richard Weston said.

The paper recommend that Indigenous men and women have a greater say over new behaviour-change programs — including consulting with reformed perpetrators of domestic violence.

“We have high levels of violence, we have high levels of substance abuse, we have a whole range of challenging social issues in our community,” Mr Weston said.

“Mainstream programs are failing us because we’re not involved in the design.”

Dr Wenitong said Indigenous mothers and children were often left in unsafe situations.

“When there’s violence in a community — in a household — why do we take the women and children out of the house for their safety, why aren’t we taking the men out?”

The paper said there had been “little opportunity for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women to influence the policies and programs designed to improve safety for them and their children”.

“Arguably, the voice and perspective of men is absent, and sometimes excluded in this domain,” Dr Wenitong said.

Aside from family breakdown, alcohol and drug abuse was the most significant factor associated with family violence in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, the report said.

An effective framework for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men and boys to prevent and reduce family violence needs to include the following critical elements:

  • violence should be understood within a historical context, recognising the effects of foundational and structural violence, and the wide ranging continued impacts on the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men and boys
  • the many strong Aboriginal and Torres Islander men must be supported to lead work with men and boys, and reconnect men to their core cultural practices and protocols as a central factor to creating change
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women should be involved in the design and development, and evaluation of the effectiveness of the framework
  • prevention strategies must be positioned within broader community strategies that address intergenerational trauma through individual, family and community healing approaches – drawing from both local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and western therapeutic practice
  • all work should be developed in partnership with communities through a genuine co-design process that respects and supports local cultural governance and self-determination, and empowers communities to drive change
  • a focus on collective wellbeing should be supported through referral pathways to trauma-informed holistic health and wellbeing services. Crucially, any strategy must be adequately resourced; implemented in a safe

A taskforce led by the Victorian Aboriginal Children’s Commissioner in 2016 found that in nine-out-of-ten cases, family violence had been present in the home when an Indigenous child was removed.

Mr Weston said the discussion paper also refuted claims by some Aboriginal men that violence against women and children had “a cultural basis”.