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Good teeth often correlates with good health. But one in five over-65s have lost all their teeth. m01229/Flickr

How to fill the gaps in Australia’s dental health system

An Aussie smile is an instant indicator of socioeconomic status, employability and self-esteem. It’s also a predictor of physical health. So it’s shocking that Australians’ dental health has not improved…
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…
Technology has done away with the need to insert swabs into the male urethra and speculums into the vagina. Instead, blood and urine are tested. In Tune/Shutterstock

Health Check: the STI check-up – warts and all

Sexuality is a means of pleasure, fulfilment and intimate connection with other humans. But it can also be a source of anguish. So it’s perhaps no surprise that of all the areas in health care, the “STI…
Inuit women carrying their kids in traditional hooded parkas. Indigenous midwifery programs have expanded across Canada and are linked to excellent health outcomes. Spencer/Flickr

Birthing on Country could deliver healthier babies and communities

Tony Abbott spent most of this week in North East Arnhem Land, part of his long-held hope “to be not just the Prime Minister but the Prime Minister for Aboriginal Affairs”. In the final of our Abbott in…
More than one in ten Indigenous Australian adults report having trouble getting around – and current licensing rules don’t help. ZRyzner/Shutterstock

Indigenous Australians need a licence to drive, but also to work

Tony Abbott spent most of this week in North East Arnhem Land, part of his long-held hope “to be not just the Prime Minister but the Prime Minister for Aboriginal Affairs”. We asked our experts: what stories…
If you’re born underweight, like this little baby on the left, it can make a world of difference to your lifelong health. Menzies Health

Australia’s 7 Up: the revealing study tracking babies to adults

Tony Abbott is spending this week in North-East Arnhem Land, part of his long-held hope “to be not just the Prime Minister but the Prime Minister for Aboriginal Affairs”. We asked our experts: what stories…
A still from the Australian Communications and Media Authority’s award-winning Be Deadly Online campaign. ACMAcybersmart/YouTube

Well-connected Indigenous kids keen to tap new ways to save lives

Tony Abbott is spending this week in North-East Arnhem Land, part of his long-held hope “to be not just the Prime Minister but the Prime Minister for Aboriginal Affairs”. We asked our experts: what stories…
Vision loss causes 11% of the health gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. Rusty Stewart/Flickr

A vision for preventing blindness in Indigenous communities

The tragedy of vision loss and blindness in Indigenous communities is striking: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults have six times more blindness than non-Indigenous adults and nearly three times…
About 42% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (TSI) people are daily smokers, compared to 16% in the non-Indigenous population. Dave Hunt/AAP

Indigenous smoking program cuts risk widening the gap

Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable disease and early death among Indigenous Australians, with smoking responsible for about one in every five deaths. Among Indigenous Australians, tobacco…
HIV epidemics have grave implications for the world’s Indigenous cultures. Flickr: j h

Stepping up the HIV response in the world’s Indigenous communities

Indigenous people are estimated to comprise 4.5% of the total global population. They are often overrepresented in HIV data and recognise themselves as being particularly vulnerable to HIV. In Canada…
A good diet is essential to maintaining a healthy weight and avoiding the risk factors for many chronic diseases. Rusty Stewart/Flickr

Healthy start: closing the gap on Indigenous childhood obesity

We’ve recently seen some encouraging improvements in closing the gap on Indigenous disadvantage: better educational outcomes, higher child immunisation rates, more health checks, and a 35% drop in the…
Rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease are endemic in Australia’s Indigenous communities. Flickr: publik16

Indigenous Australia left behind in rheumatic heart disease fight

Vintage medical textbooks are filled with diagnoses unfamiliar to contemporary doctors – wandering wombs, blackwater fever, biliousness and other historic curios. Acute rheumatic fever has become one of…
For a while, it was possible that Tony Abbott would be a transformative leader on Indigenous policy, but he has thus far not lived up to that promise. AAP/Alan Porritt

Abbott is quietly failing on his ‘PM for Aboriginal affairs’ promise

Despite prime minister Tony Abbott’s apparent passion for Indigenous affairs, last week’s federal budget – his government’s first – shows he has followed a well-trodden political path. This path leads…
The media should focus more on positive models of change and commitment in Aboriginal communities. Rusty Stewart

Bad news: negative Indigenous health coverage reinforces stigma

Think of Aboriginal health and you’ll probably recall messages of large gaps in life expectancy, increasing rates of chronic diseases such as diabetes, kidney disease and asthma. Or that the last ten years…
Rather than reinventing the wheel, we need to examine what programs are valued by Indigenous Australians. aia web team

Indigenous health programs require more than just good ideas

Despite efforts to close the gap, Indigenous Australians continue to suffer two-and-a-half times the burden of disease than the total Australian population, with most of the health gap caused by preventable…
People living in the remote communities face system failures in health care, disability services, housing and infrastructure. Flickr/publik

Why Indigenous Australians need a properly funded NDIS

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) presents an overwhelming opportunity to revolutionise the care and support given to Indigenous people. But the equity of the scheme is already at risk, with…
Australian Aboriginals are at most risk of bad physical and mental health and they have the worst health services in the country. publik16/Flickr

Improving Aboriginal health and well-being: a view from the north

Aboriginal people living in remote communities have much worse health status and longevity than other Australians. And this imbalance will not be remedied until governments work with Aboriginal leaders…

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