Articles on Indigenous health

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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.
Indigenous Australians in the Northern Territory are more than 100 times as likely to have rheumatic heart disease than their non-Indigenous counterparts. Screenshot/Take Heart - Strep: Group A Streptococcal Infection

Why are Aboriginal children still dying from rheumatic heart disease?

Rheumatic heart disease is responsible for the highest gap in life expectancy between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians; higher than diabetes or kidney failure.
Trachoma disappeared from most of Australia 100 years ago as individual and community hygiene improved.

Why is trachoma blinding Aboriginal children when mainstream Australia eliminated it 100 years ago?

Trachoma easily spreads from one child to another through infected eye and nose secretions. A person may have up to 40 episodes of reinfection during childhood.
There has been particular concern about methamphetamine use among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians. Matthew/flickr

How big a problem is ice use among Indigenous Australians?

Around 2.3% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians 15 years and over report using speed or amphetamine in the past year. This is similar to the general population.
Birth registration is required for many activities throughout a person’s life yet in some states up to 20% of Aboriginal children aren’t registered. Marianna Massey/AAP

Invisible children: research shows up to one in five Aboriginal newborns aren’t registered

Around 20% of Aboriginal births in Western Australia between 1996 and 2012 weren't registered, new research shows. This has many social and health ramifications for their future.
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.
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.
Pregnant women in three Australian cities are not told that lead exposure during pregnancy is linked to miscarriage and early delivery. Flickr/Luca Montanari

Pregnant women and parents misled about dangers of living with lead pollution

Parents in three Australian states are being given misleading advice about the dangers of lead to babies and small children – including failing to warn pregnant women about miscarriage risks.

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