These stories were developed and mostly filmed, animated by young people in Warburton and Warakurna. They have identified ways of health seeking, appropriate services, supporting each other, problem solving and identity through these stories. Young people really engaged and enjoyed the workshops and processes involved in the development and provided fantastic learning opportunities around problem solving.
Most of us involved in Indigenous Health can quote the health statistics by heart. They have ten times the amount of renal disease, remote indigenous Australians have ten times the number per head of diabetes compared the the remote white population, hospitalised for pneumonia five times more than other Australians. Need I go on?
A review of the results of sexual health screens performed in 26 central Australian Aboriginal communities between 1994 and 1996 (with an eighty percent participation rate) showed
24–29% of 15–24 year olds were infected, as were about 10% of those aged 40–50 years
That data is now thirteen years old. Hopefully things have improved since then. So lets look at something more recent.
The Western Australian Aboriginal Sexual Health Strategy 2005-2008 reports that in Western Australia gonorrhoea notifications were 182 times more likely to be for Aboriginal youth than from non-Aboriginal youth.
One hundred and eighty two times higher.
Gonorrhoea notifications were 182 times more likely to be reported among Aboriginal youth aged 15 to 19 yrs (age-specific notification rate in 2004 = 5102 per 100,000 population) than among non-Aboriginal youth (age-specific notification rate in 2004 = 28 per 100,000 population) of the same age.
What would be the public health response if this occurred in the general population in, say, Melbourne or Sydney. I bet a lot more than the resources given to Aboriginal Health.
That is really just a lead in to the latest newsletter from the Australian Sexual Health and HIV Nurses Association. The first article provides an easily digested overview of Indigenous Health.
On page four there is a terrific article of hands on work during a sexual Health screen with Ngaanyatjarra Health in the Western Desert of Western Australia.
Enjoy the read.
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Thanks to the cache on the internet here is an earlier post I lost from Monday Aug 11th.
“I have just completed a six-week stint working as a sexual health specialist in remote Central Australian Aboriginal communities, during which time I revisited many places where I had previously worked and lived as a remote area nurse over a 10-year period. During my latest stint, I was not with the NT Intervention but part of the annual Tri-State screening for STIs (sexually transmitted infections) in Central Australia.
While I saw some positive effects of the Intervention, I have also been horrified by the many negatives.
I am particularly concerned by the huge waste of resources with the child health checks program. What was the point of spending so much money effort describing problems that were already well described? Children in remote communities are the most examined there are in Australia. The Intervention has not turned up anything that was not already known, and it is the follow up treatments that need to be concentrated on.”
So started the article penned by remote area nurse, Chris Wilson in an article in today’s Crikey newsletter. Take a look at the full article here
Crikey.com.au also have a page of comments and articles on the Intervention here