|Posted by [email protected] on August 1, 2011 at 12:06 AM|
Why aboriginal healthcare remains a big issue Asgovernments worldwide work to improve the healthcare of their citizens,some countries are making a particular effort to target underserved andmarginalized indigenous populations that have traditionally been amongthe most deprived.
No matter where they live in the world, the groups share manycharacteristics, including higher suicide rates, elevated rates ofsubstance abuse and generally poorer health compared with thenon-indigenous population.
In Australia, the Northern Territory Emergency Response, or NTER,aims to tackle these issues as part of a larger programme covering morethan 500 Aboriginal communities. Launched in 2007, the programme coversa range of initiatives affecting indigenous Australians from housing toeducation to welfare issues, but the key focus of the NTER's healthinterventions is child health checks. The health initiative accountsfor A$183m of the A$1.2bn that has been allocated to NTER interventions.
The Australian government had previously earmarked funding for childhealth checks for all indigenous children in 2005, aiming tostandardize screening tools and provide funding for primary caredoctors to screen all children up to 14 years old, according to MarionHaas, deputy director of the Centre for Health Economics Research andEvaluation at the University of Technology, Sydney.
A preliminary government report on the first 15 months of the NTERprogramme to October 2008 found that medical staff had carried out morethan 12,000 child health checks, covering some 74% of the eligiblepopulation. Public health officials were able to identify a number ofrisk factors affecting the target population, including the fact that75% of children lived in households with a smoker, that 73% of childrenless than one year were at risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome owingto bed-sharing, that 43% of children had at least one type of oralhealth condition and that 38% had a history of recurring chestinfections.
As a result of the checks, officials referred 69% of children for atleast one type of follow-up service, with 35% receiving a dentalreferral and 39% being directed to a primary healthcare clinic.
Other countries with large native populations are also looking toclose gaps between their health outcomes and that of the generalpopulation. Canada’s blueprint on Aboriginal Health, a ten-year actionplan to improve the health and quality of life of indigenouspopulations, emerged from two separate Canadian First Ministers’meetings between 2005 and 2006, one of which included the leaders offive national Aboriginal organisations. The American Academy ofPediatrics has a Committee on Native American Child Health developingpolicies and programmes and monitoring legislation affecting NativeAmerican child health. In Russia, the Northwest Public Health ResearchCenter in St. Petersburg is looking at setting up health monitoringprogrammes for indigenous populations in northern Russian, working withgroups such as the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP) toidentify the extent of toxic effects on the local population frompollution in the Arctic region.
In southern Philippines however, primitive traditional cult is also until present time the first preference in delivering health care. Primary health care of the Philippine government is suspended due to insufficient medical team to facilitate medical services in the region. no choice for the native folks but to go on their primitive way of dealing with health care, though hundred miles separated them from the town proper. Some folklore are suffering from cult related syndrome while some are engaging to black magic rituals to eliminate curses which they believed the roots of their ailment.