PDF printable version of Giving our Indigenous Children a Better Start to Life (PDF 361 KB)
22 February 2018
Two successful early childhood programs delivering significant improvements in the health and well-being of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families will be expanded across an additional 19 new sites.
Visiting Darwin’s Danila Dilba Health Service today, the Minister for Indigenous Health, Ken Wyatt AM, said the programs promised to help in Closing the Gap in health equality and were already having a measurable impact.
“Through Better Start to Life, Danila Dilba has recently begun offering home nurse visits, meaning Darwin children and families now have more culturally appropriate access to antenatal and postnatal care,” Minister Wyatt said.
“We know that Mums participating in this program have fewer low birth weight babies, higher rates of breastfeeding and very high infant immunisation rates. We are also seeing women accessing antenatal care earlier in their pregnancies.
“By wrapping services around families, locally focussed programs like this are also important in helping guard against the development of chronic conditions in later life, such as rheumatic heart disease and kidney failure.”
The Turnbull Government is investing $94 million over three years in A Better Start to Life, which consists of two streams: The Australian Nurse-Family Partnership Program (ANFPP) and the New Directions: Mothers and Babies Services program. The Danila Dilba Health Service through the ANFPP is receiving $1.68 million for the 2017-2018 financial year.
- The New Directions program targets five priority areas, including:
- Care before and immediately after birth
- Detailed information about baby care
- Practical advice and assistance with breast-feeding, nutrition and parenting
- Monitoring development, immunisations and infections
- Health checks and referrals to treatment for children before they start school
“While lifetime health care is important, intensive support from before birth to three years old – the critical first 1,000 days - has the greatest impact on our children’s futures,” said Minister Wyatt.
“It augurs well for thousands of young Indigenous kids that 14 new sites are implementing the New Directions: Mothers and Babies Services program and five new sites are delivering the Australian Nurse-Family Partnership Program.”
The number of New Directions: Mothers and Babies Services sites now totals 124, along with 13 Australian Nurse-Family Partnership Program sites.
Twelve more New Directions: Mothers and Babies Services program locations are due to be announced by July this year, taking the national total to 136.
The new sites are:
Australian Nurse Family Partnership Program Organisations
|Rumbalara Aboriginal Cooperative Ltd|
Campaspe – Shepparton - Moira
|Durri Aboriginal Corporation Medical Service|
|Greater Western Aboriginal Health Service|
|Wurli Wurlinjang Aboriginal Corporation|
|Winnunga Nimmityjah Aboriginal Health Service (ACT) Inc|
New Directions: Mothers and Babies Services Organisations
|Wellington Aboriginal Corporation Health Service|
|Coonamble Aboriginal Health Service|
|Walgett Aboriginal Medical Service Ltd|
|Mulungu Aboriginal Corporation Primary Health Care Service|
Kuranda - Croydon
|Gurriny Yealamucka (Good Healing) Health Services Aboriginal Corporation|
|Apunipima Cape York Health Council|
|NPA Family and Community Services Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Corp|
Northern Peninsula Area
|Derby Aboriginal Health Service Council Aboriginal Corporation|
|Broome Regional Aboriginal Medical Service|
Broome – Surrounds
|South-West Aboriginal Medical Service Aboriginal Corporation|
|Pika Wiya Health Service Aboriginal Corporation|
|Pangula Mannamurna Aboriginal Corporation|
|Ceduna Koonibba Aboriginal Health Service (Aboriginal Corporation)|
|Nunyara Aboriginal Health Service Inc|
Media contact: Nick Way, Media Adviser 0419 835 449