ERIC Number: ED390599
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1994-Jul
Reference Count: N/A
Enough Bad News! Remote Social Health & Aboriginal Action in a Harsh Environment--Coober Pedy in South Australia's "Outback."
Brice, G.; And Others
This paper focuses on the complexities of health care in Coober Pedy (South Australia) and the nearby Umoona Aboriginal community, and highlights the vital role of Aboriginal health workers in the implementation of primary health care principles. The Aboriginal population in this "outback" area is characterized by considerable economic problems, poor housing conditions, high unemployment and relatively few people in further education, low educational attainment, and an underlying reluctance to be counted in the census or to tell authorities of their current circumstances. Recent cause-of-death information shows a high incidence of heart and cerebrovascular disease, chronic liver disease often related to alcohol abuse, and injuries from violence including homicide and suicide. Hospital admissions are considerably higher for Aboriginal compared to non-Aboriginal persons, particularly for mental disorders, skin-related problems, and infectious and parasitic diseases. The Aboriginal Health Council of South Australia, Inc., an Aboriginal-controlled organization responsible for health policy, research, and community health coordination, has for many years stationed four Aboriginal health workers in Coober Pedy. The health workers provide health screenings, immunizations, and advice on health problems; hold family discussion sessions on such topics as financial problems, domestic violence, and alcohol-related problems; make referrals to the hospital; conduct health promotion and prevention programs; and serve as liaisons with community agencies and the schools. A recent child health workshop highlighted the lack of education and empowerment in the Aboriginal community. Increased collaboration between government agencies and Aboriginal health organizations is called for. (SV)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Australia (South Australia)
Note: In: Issues Affecting Rural Communities. Proceedings of an International Conference Held by the Rural Education Research and Development Centre (Townsville, Queensland, Australia, July 10-15, 1994); see RC 020 376.