#902 for broadcast on 2CH Sydney, 1 Jun 2014.
According to Dr Paul Dawson, past president of the Australian Society for Medical Research, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people continue to experience a significantly higher incidence of disease and morbidity, and lower life expectancy, than the average Australian.
At the foundation of these health disparities are numerous challenges facing indigenous women before, during and after pregnancy.
Poor nutrition, smoking, alcohol and stress in pregnancy are linked to pre-term birth, growth restriction of the newborn baby, and increased risk of diabetes, heart and kidney disease, and premature death.
Dr Dawson said:
the willingness to act on long-term commitments together with careful planning and decisions from both community and Government are vital if we are serious about improving the health and well-being of the future generations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Churches and faith-based care agencies also play an important role in planning and service delivery.
I’m Rod Benson for the NSW Council of Churches.