Articles on Aboriginal health

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Policies and services designed to protect Aboriginal children’s cultural connections are not being properly implemented. AAP Image/Dan Peled

Australia failing to safeguard cultural connections for Aboriginal children in out-of-home care

New reports show a widespread lack of care for the cultural needs of many of the 19,000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in child protection and out-of-home care.
The facilities were poor and some inmates were subjected to unsuccessful experimentation with a “vaccine” that used arsenic compounds. Hospital Ward Dorre Island/State library of Western Australia

What do the newspapers really tell us about the lock hospital histories?

The lock hospitals inflicted incalculable traumas on Aboriginal people, wrenching them away from families and country.
In the SBS documentary series Who Do You Think You Are?, Peter Garrett traces the history of his grandmother, who worked in the “lock hospitals” as a nurse. Screenshot/Who Do You Think You Are/ SBS

Acknowledge the brutal history of Indigenous health care – for healing

Hundreds of Aboriginal people were incarcerated on Dorre and Bernier islands for "venereal disease" between 1908 and 1919. The lock hospitals were penal rather than therapeutic institutions.
Of 1082 Indigenous specific. programs identified in the report, 92% have never been evaluated to see if they are achieving their objectives. AAP/Dan Peled

How to get a better bang for the taxpayers’ buck in all sectors, not only Indigenous programs

A new report highlights how little we know about what works and what doesn't when it comes to publicly-funded Indigenous programs. It's a similar story in other policy areas – but we can do better.
Birthing on country generally refers to an Aboriginal mother giving birth to her child on the lands of their ancestors. Skylines/Shutterstock

Why we need to support Aboriginal women’s choice to give birth on country

Where birthing on country is not offered, women leave their families weeks before birth. Or she can choose to give birth in her community without skilled birth attendants, which is risky.
Aboriginal groups need to play an active part in Aboriginal health to ensure we get it right. Dan Peled/AAP

How to reform primary health care to close the gap

How can primary health networks work closely with Aboriginal services to ensure health care is appropriate and culturally competent?
To improve Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander nutrition and health we need real community consultation, improved public governance and political will. Gina Lyons, Irrunytju WA. Photo by Suzanne Bryce, NPY Women’s Council.

We can close the Indigenous nutrition gap – here’s how

After years of neglect and a notable absence in last week's Closing the Gap report, nutrition is finally being recognised as integral to closing the gap on Indigenous disadvantage.
Aboriginal people with mental and cognitive disability are ‘managed’ by police, courts and prisons due to a lack of appropriate community-based services. Kate Ausburn/flickr

Why Aboriginal people with disabilities crowd Australia’s prisons

Australia's high rates of imprisonment and re-imprisonment of Aboriginal people with mental and cognitive disabilities is not only shameful, it is entirely predictable and preventable.
Syphilis outbreaks tend to occur in marginalised populations where there is a lack of affordable, appropriate and culturally acceptable health care. yaruman5/Flickr

Northern Australia syphilis outbreak is about government neglect, not child abuse

The syphilis outbreak in Central Australia is not about child abuse. But it highlights the urgent need for investment in sexual health services for Aboriginal Australians living in remote areas.
The Northern Territory’s Alcohol Mandatory Treatment Act is disproportionately applied to Aboriginal people. Terry Trewin/AAP

How mandatory treatment for public drunkenness is failing Aboriginal people

In the Northern Territory, public drunkenness can force someone into an alcohol treatment centre for three months. The policy has no basis in evidence and discriminates against Aboriginal people.
For certain members of the community, catching flu can lead to severe illness or death. Piotr Marcinski

The 2015 flu vaccine – what’s new, who should get it and why

It’s that time of year again when scientists and doctors make predictions about the impending flu season and we must decide whether to go out and get the flu vaccine.
Nutrition is one of the most important determinants of health, but has been neglected in policy. Jason Brackins/Flickr

Nutrition is key to closing the Aboriginal life expectancy gap

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have significantly poorer health and lower life expectancy than other Australians. But while reducing these inequalities is a priority for governments, national…
Many Indigenous families fear the welfare system. AAP Image/Neda Vanovac

Empowering Indigenous communities to prevent child abuse and neglect

In some jurisdictions of Australia, the rate of Indigenous children in foster, kinship and residential care on any one night has reached almost one in ten. This rate is almost ten times higher than non-Aboriginal…

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