Indigenous Chronic Disease Package in 2010-11 - Annual Progress Report
Tackling Chronic Disease Risk Factors
Approximately 70% of the gap in health outcomes is due to chronic diseases2. These tend to have common lifestyle-related risk factors such as smoking, poor nutrition, obesity and low levels of physical activity.
The ICDP aims to prevent chronic disease by helping Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to quit smoking, be physically active and adopt healthy lifestyles. Community education initiatives are also being delivered to increase understanding of the health risk factors and the support available through preventative and primary health care services.
A range of prevention and cessation support activities and locally run community events in Indigenous communities commenced in 2010-11.
Key achievements in 2010-11Teams of tackling smoking and healthy lifestyle workers are implementing a range of community-based prevention and cessation support activities in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in 20 regions and the ACT.
Roll-out of the first tranche of Regional Tackling Smoking and Healthy Lifestyle Teams headed up by Regional Tobacco Coordinators to 21 of 57 regions nationally. The ACT also received funding for a Tobacco Action Worker and a Healthy Lifestyle Worker. Funding was provided to Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations (ACCHOs) and other organisations providing services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to host, train and support these teams of health promotion workers. Regional Tobacco Coordinators and teams of Tobacco Action Workers work with local communities to develop social marketing and health promotion approaches that resonate with communities, families and individuals.
The first national workshop of host organisations and workers was held in Canberra in December 2010 to provide induction training and build networks across this new Tackling Smoking and Healthy Lifestyle national workforce.
Dr Tom Calma Hon. DLitt CDU, Hon. DSc Curtin, in his role as National Coordinator – Tackling Indigenous Smoking in March 2010, provided vital national leadership to this initiative, drawing on advice from a Technical Reference Group of Indigenous and tobacco control experts.
The Government continued to support the18 innovative tobacco control projects under the Indigenous Tobacco Control Initiative, with lessons learned from these projects being applied to the implementation of the COAG measure.
Over 200 health workers and community educators received training in smoking cessation to help them work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients to reduce the risk of chronic disease.
ICDP developmental research completed in October 2010 informed the development and implementation of the ground-breaking ‘Break the Chain’ advertising campaign. Launched in March 2011, the campaign included Australia’s first Indigenous-focused, anti-smoking advertising using national media. The campaign was developed in parallel with the National Tobacco Campaign to provide an Indigenous-specific element to Australian Government tobacco control social marketing activities.
The ‘Live Longer!’ Campaign commenced in 2010-11 and supports Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to ‘Get Active, Eat Good Tucker, Live Longer!’. This provided 25 locally driven Healthy Community Days across Australia to deliver healthy lifestyle messages through a range of sporting, cultural, educational and health activities. 38 Local Community Campaign projects were also supported to raise awareness of the risk factors for chronic disease and how regular check-ups from a doctor, nurse and/or health worker can help prevent and manage illness.
A ‘Live Longer!’ Community Health Action Pack was developed and refined using feedback from a workshop held with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health workers, and was distributed in September 2011.
Case StudySupporting locally-driven health promotion projects
More than 60 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health workers from across Australia were brought together in Adelaide in May 2011 for a health promotion workshop at which they helped refine the Live Longer! Community Health Action Pack (CHAP).
The CHAP is a plain-English tool to support the planning, implementation and promotion of locally developed health promotion activities and has been distributed to Local Community Campaigns grant recipients.
The practical two-day workshop gave attendees, many of whom were part of the Tackling Smoking and Healthy Lifestyle Workforce, a chance to work together and share their experiences in on-the-ground health promotion and social marketing activities. By involving these workers in this process, the impact of the Local Indigenous Community Campaigns to Promote Better Health measure will be bolstered especially in terms of equipping local communities to run health promotion campaigns.
Using the CHAP as a guide, participants worked in small groups to develop hypothetical health promotion projects that addressed one of the four Live Longer! healthy lifestyle pillars: giving up smoking, healthy eating, doing physical exercise and having regular health checks. At the end of the workshop program, each group presented their project, with several groups creating health promotion posters and videos. The feedback received from participants was used to revise the structure of the CHAP and improve its user-friendliness.
The workshop was well received by the participants, who appreciated the opportunity to network, share ideas and learn from one another.
2 Vos T, Barker B, Stanley L Lopez AD 2007. The burden of disease and injury in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples 2003. Brisbane: School of Population Health, The University of Queensland.