Issue of Aboriginal life Assignment PDF

Added on - 28 Jul 2021

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In the week 1 module content, the issue of Aboriginal life expectancy highlighted by
Professor Lisa Pulver Jackson has caught my attention. According to the Close the
Gap (2016) video by Oxfam Australia, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
Australians die 10 to 17 years younger than other non- Indigenous Australians. The
data suggests that the life expectancy at birth was 71.6 years for Indigenous males
whereas the non-Indigenous life expectancy at birth was 80.2 years for males and
75.6 years for Indigenous females and 83.4 years for non-Indigenous females. There
is a gap of 8.6 years for males and 7.8 years for females (Closing the Gap, 2019).
My understanding of Aboriginal people has been shaped with lot of negativity by the
media and the community. I work in a hospital lab where I frequently get samples
where Aboriginal people are intoxicated with drugs, alcohol etc. Hence it rapidly makes
me believe that the Aboriginal community is suffering due to unhealthy life choices
making them vulnerable to any diseases. I am ashamed of making assumptions on
Aboriginal people. I never had a clear idea of social determinants of health but now I
know that the lack of education, unemployment, poverty, drug abuse are the major
drivers to be included in life expectancy issue. I also feel that such a major gap is
completely unacceptable in a proud country like Australia which is well known for its
Fair go for everyone. At the end of this readings, I really valued every aspect of my life
and have built strong respect for the Aboriginal people.
I had not considered the impact of socio-economic factors in the life expectancy
problem. The rapid developing gap is due to the multiple factors which are out of
control at the moment which made me change my views on the thought that I had
utterly set down on Aboriginal people’s lifestyle choices and habits. The good part was
the practical effort shown by the government by establishing the Closing the Gap
mission 2020. Although the target to close the life expectancy gap by 2031 is not on
track as per the Closing the Gap report (2019). Aboriginal people are victim blamed
and ignored by the society. The way the common socioeconomic factors work is unfair
and very composite which negatively dominates the Aboriginal health and the life
expectancy (World Health Organization, 2003). The gap is widest in the remote and
very remote areas as it varies with respect to the urban and remote areas.
I agree with the fact that had been discussed by one of the student on the discussion
boards that the reports and the statistics acquired from the learnings are really
frightening as even I did not know the exact discrepancies between the figures. The
Australian Human Rights Commission (2019) claimed that the behavioural risk factors
and other social determinants are the key factors which contribute to relative
socioeconomic disadvantage in health outcomes between Indigenous and non-
Indigenous life expectancy gap. Healey (2014) indicated that there is also an increase
in suicide rates among children due to the lack of childcare centres, stress, inactivity,
lack of early childhood development, education, and boredom. The rapid increase in
the rate of diseases such as obesity, diabetes, Cardiovascular diseases, renal
disease, and Cancer in Aboriginal people has raised my eyebrows. There is a need to
equip the remote areas with Aboriginal teams of doctors, nurses, and midwives to
overcome the shortfalls of Aboriginal primary health care.
In reference to the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Journal (2016), the Government
initiative, Close the gap is bearing some fruits in the areas of infant mortality rates, but
results are mixed and is failing to make a meaningful impact. On the other hand, there
are many stressors of life which are making Aboriginal people weaker and might take
years to see appreciable movements. I am taking baby steps to be self-reflexive, but
it is hard to brain wash myself due to the firm beliefs. As a student Nurse, I will be
more open to the Aboriginal people in my care and never be biased. I will be focused
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