Remote Aboriginal Communities in Western Australia Report 2022


Added on  2022-09-22

13 Pages3750 Words52 Views
Disease and DisordersNutrition and WellnessPublic and Global Health
Remote Aboriginal Communities in Western Australia
Name of Student
Name of Professor
Institution Affiliation
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Delivery of health services in remote surroundings tend to be complex and tedious. This
is because of the climatic factors and unsealed roads, especially during the tropic wet season that
reduces the accessibility of people living in remote areas and by nurses and doctors. Also, there
is limited accommodations available for healthcare services (Irving, Short, Gwynne, Tennant &
Blinkhorn, 2017). But, these challenges of providing healthcare services tend to affect
Aboriginal communities as compared to non-aboriginal communities. The inequality is
experienced because they lack adequate access to health services and lower socio-economic
classes. The Remote Aboriginal Communities in Western Australia also live in conditions that
should be termed as dismal. Poor living conditions are known to raise the rates of chronic
disease, injury, and infection. Also, poor living conditions contribute to low community
perceptions and amenity and hence resulting in a reduction in the wellbeing of their families and
lowering their participation in work and school (Gibney, Cheng, Hall & Leder, 2017). This
essay aims to critically analyse the health issues of adults of remote aboriginal communities in
Western Australia (WA) and determine the social determinants of their health.
According to census data of 2016, a quarter of Aboriginal people in WA lived in very
remote areas, but 40% lived in major cities. In contrast, 80% of non- aboriginal people were
residing in major cities, and only 2% were living in areas considered very remote. This greatly
indicates the differences between the Aboriginal communities and non-aboriginal communities
that reside in very remote areas (Carson, Carson, Porter, Ahlin & Sköld, 2016). There exist about
274 remote Aboriginal communities that reside in Western Australia. Approximately 12000
Aboriginal individuals live in remote communities in WA (Soumya, Hinton-Bayre, Coates Ooi
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& Kuthubutheen, 2018). About 244 out of the 274 Aboriginal communities and 9000 residents
are located in Pilbara and Kimberley regions. While most of the remaining ones are located in
Goldfields and some in the Mid-West (Boulton, 2016).
The provision of municipal services and essential care to these communities remain a
significant problem. The quality of services they receive and infrastructure is mostly poor. Out
of the 274 remote Aboriginal communities, the State Government provides support or some kind
of direct provision to only approximately 160 communities. This ranges from 14 Aboriginal
communities that get a supply of electricity from Horizon Power to subsidies of diesel fuel for
smaller communities that run generators (Morphy, 2016). The smallest 110 remote Aboriginal
communities do not get any kind of support or funding from the State Government. Although an
estimated 400 permanent residents of these smaller communities may have access to services
that are considered universal like schools and hospitals elsewhere. Very few numbers of remote
aboriginal communities acquire any local government services (Melody et al., 2016).
Health issue among remote Aboriginal communities in WA
Aboriginal communities who reside in the remote part of WA have an increased risk for
many health conditions. They tend to engage in risky behaviors such as smoking, unwillingness
to seek health services, and deprived access to healthcare. Poor health circumstances with rising
remoteness can be influenced by geographical and environmental conditions such as long
distances to healthcare facilities, cutting off of communities as a result of occasional flooding,
and more inadequate access to healthy food services. Also, there tend to exist increased rates of
overcrowding and poor housing in remote areas, which has an unfavorable effect on their health.
One of the health issue that remote Aboriginal communities encounter in WA is diabetes (Straw
et al., 2019).
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Diabetes is a condition marked by increased levels of glucose in the blood. It is as a
result of the incapability of the body to produce and use insulin efficiently. Diabetes has
impacted on the lives of Aboriginal communities of WA by leading to increased disability and
morbidity and reducing their quality of life hence leading to premature death. Also, due to an
increase in poor management and inadequate diagnosis of diabetes among remote Aboriginal
communities, it has resulted in many health complications and death. The complications include
macrovascular conditions like stroke and heart disease and microvascular conditions like nerve
disease, eye disease and kidney disease (West, Chuter, Munteanu & Hawke, 2017).
The increase in diabetes among remote Aboriginal communities in WA can be associated
with lifestyle factors like poor dieting, excess weight, tobacco smoking and less physical activity.
About 60% of remote aboriginal people are either overweight or obese; this increases their
chances of developing diabetes (Seear, Atkinson, Lelievre, Henderson-Yates & Marley, 2019).
Due to the low socio-economic status of remote Aboriginal people, they are not able to afford
adequate vegetables and fruits, physical activities equipment and they tend to smoke tobacco
more. These factors predispose them to more occurrence of diabetes (Straw et al., 2019). Various
measures should be undertaken that can support in decreasing the incidence of diabetes among
these communities. The measures should aim at enhancing weight loss, modification in diet and
increase their physical activity. Also, access to healthcare services should be improved. This will
help in reducing the complications associated with diabetes (Sinclair, Stokes, JeffriesStokes &
Daly, 2016). Additionally, access to healthcare for remote aboriginal communities does not only
require easy access to healthcare services that can be easily reached. But also requires a reduced
cost of care, improved communication with healthcare providers, and the elimination of racism
and discrimination (LoGiudice et al., 2020).
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