Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations improving life and health outcomes for our Elders of tomorrow
Referring to the Secretariat of National Aboriginal and Islander Child Care (SNAICC) coordinated National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day held on 4 August each year for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families to celebrate the strengths and culture of their children, NACCHO Chair Donnella Mills said:
“For decades, our Elders have shown great resolve and have sacrificed and fought for advancing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander rights. Their efforts cannot be forgotten as they paved the way for our children to live healthier and stronger lives.
“We are so proud of the work done by our members – Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations, towards improving the health outcomes of our children, our Elders of tomorrow.
“We are pleased that our recently signed National Agreement for Closing the Gap targets commits governments to build a strong Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community-controlled sector to deliver services and programs. Within the commitments, one of the sector strengthening plans focuses on early childhood care and development and another key priority is education, thereby looking at holistic life and health outcomes for our future generations.”
Wuchopperen Health Service Qld – First Time Mum’s Program
One of the many NACCHO member programs promoting child health and wellbeing is the Wuchopperen Health Service in Cairns QLD. This ACCHO delivers the Australian Nurse-Family Partnership Program (ANFPP), known in the community as the ‘First Time Mum’s Program’. It is a client-centred, home visiting program that provides care and support to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mums throughout their first pregnancy, right until their child turns two.
Wuchopperen Health Service have successfully supported over 400 families since the program began and Nurse Supervisor of the ANFPP, Samantha Lewis said, “100% of the babies who have come through the program were fully immunised by the time they turned two, which has had a significant impact on the long-term health of babies. Also, 97% of our babies were within a healthy birth weight range. This is a huge achievement and sets up a solid base for the rest of the child’s life.”
This year, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day’s theme ‘We are the Elders of tomorrow, hear our voice’ honours our Elders, custodians of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander traditional knowledge, passed down to our children through stories and cultural practice.
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