Indigenous Health Oz Assignment Help

Indigenous Health Oz Assignment Help

Introduction

The gap in this assignment that is set to be closed by 2031 is the life expectancy between the indigenous and the non-indigenous Australians. This target is very important since there will be thriving of the infants, children will also succeed at school and there will be more employ relation opportunities. Majority of the indigenous communities want to see their children grow healthy (Bertilone & McEvoy, 2015). There are however different barriers to healthy living such as the barriers to nutritious and affordable food.

Discussion

According to statistics, the target to closing the gap is currently not on track. There is need for increased pace if the target is set to be achieved by 2031.To find out if the target is on track or not, the variables that are used include the life expectancy at birth that are made available after five years (Parker, Bodkin-Andrews, Marsh, Jerrim, & Schoon, 2013). According to the statistics published recently in 2013 which reflected the life expectancies among the indigenous boys and girls and females who were born between 2010 and 2012, it was established that the boys had a life expectancy of 69.1 which is less by those of non-indigenous communities by a whopping 10.6 years (Browne, 2017). The life expectancy of the females on the other hand was 73.7 years and this was 9.5 years below those of the non-indigenous Australians.

Between the year 2005 and 2007,and between 2010 and 2012,there was a marked increase in life expectancy among indigenous males of 0.3 years on an annual basis while those of females increased by 0.1 years per year. This results implied that there was a small reduction in the gap by 0.8 years for the indigenous males while for the females, it was 0.1 years (Browne, 2017). It is however recommended that to meet the target of closing the gap by 2031, the life expectancy among the indigenous communities is supposed to increase by 0.6-0.8 years annually. The table below illustrates the discrepancy in life expectancy among the indigenous and non-indigenous Australians.

 

Indigenous

Non-indigenous

Gap(Years)

 

Males females

males females

males females

2005-2007

67.5 73.1

78.9 82.6

11.4 9.6

2010-2012

69.1 73.7

79.7 83.1

10.6 9.5

Another factor that has been used to evaluate the progress of the closing the gap target is the mortality rate. The advantage of using the mortality rates is that the values are projected on an annual basis as compared to the life expectancies that are only projected after every five years.

According to statistics, there was a significant decline in the mortality rates by 14% among the indigenous Australians between 1998-2016.There was also a drop in the mortality rates among the non-indigenous communities within the same time and the gap was reduced to only 9%.However, despite significant improvements between 2006 and 2016, the mortality rates among the indigenous communities has not been on track to meet the set target (Browne, Hayes, & Gleeson, 2014). When we compare this with the non-indigenous communities, the mortality rates are declining continuously and this is the reason why the gap has not narrowed as from 2006.The graph below illustrates the trends in the mortality rates.

Strategies that have been utilized and those being utilized to close the gap of life expectancy by 2031

There have been different strategies that have been utilized to close the gap by 2031.One of the strategies is immunization. For the past decade, focus has been on immunization as a method to improve life expectancy by organizations such as the United Nations Children’s Fund and the World Health Organization (Gorman & Vemuri, 2012) . To close the gap of life expectancy by 2031, there has been extensive immunization among the indigenous Australians.

There was a collaborative program between Australia’s National Immunization Program, Australian Government and the state and territory governments that was set up in 1997.The objective of this program was to reduce the prevalence of vaccine-preventable diseases by increasing the immunization coverages (Davey, 2017). The National Immunization Program has been providing vaccines to 17 vaccine-preventable diseases to the eligible groups especially the children, the elderly and the expectant women among the indigenous Australians. Since the NIP was introduced in1997, there has been increased immunization in children from 53-97% from the 1980s (Cashman et al., 2016).The NIP was further expanded in 2017 to provide catch up vaccines that are same to those received in childhood to young adults of up to 19 years as well as the refugees and the humanitarian entrants of any age. The Minister of Health in Australia also implemented a 3 year childhood immunization education campaign to further support vaccination uptake.

School nutrition project in the Northern Territory is another strategy currently being used. More than $24 million has been set aside by the Australian Government for the school nutrition program in the Northern Territory for the next three years. The objective of this program is to provide nutritious meals to children so as to improve their school attendance and engagement. The program operates in 72 sites and 63 communities and is believed to offer nutritious meals to over 5400 children in a single day.

The Australian Government is also improving healthy lifestyles through indigenous sports by committing more than $135 million (Clifford, Doran, & Tsey, 2013) . The government also regulates the quality of food supplied from the Outback stores. The government ensures that sugary foods are supplied at very low rates since they lead to chronic conditions like diabetes.

The National Indigenous Critical Response Service is another business strategy. The Australian government has set aside $10 million through the National Indigenous Critical Response Service whose objective is to offer support to individuals among the indigenous Australians who are affected by suicide and other critical conditions that involve death (Cumming, Kinner, & Preen, 2016). This strategy has shown signs of speeding up the closing the gap target by 2031.Other notable strategies include the aged care, social and emotional well-being and supporting Indigenous Australians with disabilities.

Suggested strategy.

Despite the numerous efforts by the Australian government to close the gap of life expectancy by 2031, there is a suggestion that I believe would work well. According to statistics, there is a high rate of smoking among the Aboriginal and Torres Islander people in Australia. The rate at which pregnant women among indigenous Australians smoke is relatively high Studies have linked excess tobacco to increased mortality among children. The government could, therefore, reduce the rates of smoking by regulating affordability and the supply of tobacco products to these indigenous communities. This would significantly reduce the mortality rates among infants and speed up the closing the target of life expectancy by 2031.The smoking trends among the indigenous communities is illustrated in the graph below.

Conclusion

There is a wide gap of life expectancy between the indigenous and the non-indigenous communities in Australia. This is reflected in the reduced life expectancies and increased mortality rates between the two groups in Australia as reflected by the graphs above. The closing the gap in life expectancy is currently not on track due to the fact that there has not been any reduction in mortality rates among the indigenous communities as from 2006.In order to close the gap of life expectancy by 2031,there have been different strategies that have been used. Some of them include immunization as well as modifications in the lifestyles of the Aboriginal and Torres Islander people .Despite these efforts, I would still suggest the control of tobacco smoking among the indigenous communities since smoking has been linked to increased mortality rates among the infants. There should be collective efforts to close the gap of life expectancy by 2031 so that infants can thrive and succeed at school to get employment in future.

References

1. Bertilone, C., & McEvoy, S. (2015). Success in Closing the Gap: favourable neonatal outcomes in a metropolitan Aboriginal Maternity Group Practice Program. The Medical Journal of Australia, 203(6), 262. doi:10.5694/mja14.01754
Browne, A. J. (2017). Moving beyond description: Closing the health equity gap by redressing racism impacting Indigenous populations. Social Science & Medicine, 184, 23-26. doi:10.1016/j.socscimed.2017.04.045
3. Browne, A. J. (2017). Moving beyond description: Closing the health equity gap by redressing racism impacting Indigenous populations. Social Science & Medicine, 184, 23-26. doi:10.1016/j.socscimed.2017.04.045
4. Browne, J., Hayes, R., & Gleeson, D. (2014). Aboriginal health policy: is nutrition the ‘gap’ in ‘Closing the Gap’? Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 38(4), 362-369. doi:10.1111/1753-6405.12223
5. Cashman, P. M., Allan, N. A., Clark, K. K., Butler, M. T., Massey, P. D., & Durrheim, D. N. (2016). Closing the gap in Australian Aboriginal infant immunisation rates -- the development and review of a pre-call strategy. BMC Public Health, 16(1). doi:10.1186/s12889-016-3086-x
6. Clifford, A. C., Doran, C. M., & Tsey, K. (2013). A systematic review of suicide prevention interventions targeting indigenous peoples in Australia, United States, Canada and New Zealand. BMC Public Health, 13(1). doi:10.1186/1471-2458-13-463
7. Cumming, C., Kinner, S. A., & Preen, D. B. (2016). Closing the Gap in Indigenous health: why section 19(2) of the Health Insurance Act matters. The Medical Journal of Australia, 205(6), 283. doi:10.5694/mja16.00593
8. Davey, R. X. (2017). The economic business benefits of eliminating Indigenous health inequality in the Northern Territory. The Medical Journal of Australia, 206(4), 186. doi:10.5694/mja16.01140
9. Gorman, J., & Vemuri, S. (2012). Social implications of bridging the gap through ?caring for country? in remote Indigenous communities of the Northern Territory, Australia. The Rangeland Journal, 34(1), 63. doi:10.1071/rj11037
10. Parker, P. D., Bodkin-Andrews, G., Marsh, H. W., Jerrim, J., & Schoon, I. (2013). Will closing the achievement gap solve the problem? An analysis of primary and secondary effects for indigenous university entry. Journal of Sociology, 51(4), 1085-1102. doi:10.1177/144078331349894