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PUBH6000: Social, Behavioural and Cultural Factors in Public Health

Added on - 21 Nov 2021

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Indigenous Health
Student’s Name
Institutional Affiliation
Indigenous Health
The United Nations has Permanent Forum on indigenous issues estimates that there
are around 370 million indigenous people in the world. These people are spread across 70
countries of the world. They are unique from the dominant world population for because they
have maintained their traditional culture and way of doing things till the 21stcentury. Two of
such groups are found in Australia. These are aboriginal and Torrey Strait Islander people.
These two people groups have maintained most of their traditional beliefs and practices. It is
common knowledge that people who have held on to their traditions and not embraced
modernism are likely to be lagging when it comes to development. Development here means
political, social and economic advancement. Holding on to traditional culture means that
there is little adoption of modern technology which has revolutionized the way of doing
things (Price, 2015). It also means lagging in health-related matters. Closing the gap is a
strategy that was developed by the government with the aim of reducing the disadvantage of
the aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples (Closing the Gap, 2018). This assignment
focuses on the minister’s report on closing the gap strategy, national overview of the health of
Aboriginal and the Torres Strait Islander people and the social determinants of health.
Closing the Gap Strategy
Closing the gap strategy focuses on various issues such as education, health and
employment outcomes. The strategy was developed after release of the social justice report of
2005 and the close the gap social justice campaign. The two illustrated how disadvantaged
the two communities are and the need for appropriate intervention. The government
responded by developing a 25-year strategy that would help reduce the disadvantages in
2008. A set of measurable outcomes were identified to help monitor progress. Every year, the
prime minister provides a closing the gap report to the parliament. The intention of this is to
monitor the progress of the strategy.
In his 2018 report, the prime minister noted that although there were improvements,
there is a lot to be done to achieve the strategy. He noted that the achieving the strategy
would be more effective if a multi-sectoral approach was employed in implementing the
strategy. He further noted that it is critical to involve the aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
people in implementation of the strategy if any meaningful progress is to be made. He also
noted that there have been several achievements in the last 10 years. One of the achievements
is that the child mortality rate of the indigenous people had reduced by 35 percent. The goal
was to reduce the rate by half by 2018. Although the goal was not achieved, there was a
significant progress and the future seems promising. Another remarkable achievement is a
high rate of enrolling to early childhood centres by the indigenous people. The prime minister
noted that 95% of all children aged four years had enrolled to early childhood education. This
is a great move and it shows that the future of the indigenous people is not only bright but in
safe hands. Closing the gap on school attendance is not going as planned. There are also other
areas that are not making significant improvement. The government is planning to adopt
newer and better strategies to address the challenges.
National Overview of Health for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People
It is important to consider holistic wellbeing when offering healthcare. It is worth
noting that these indigenous people groups still value their culture and traditions. It would
therefore be unwise to disregard such important factors if any meaningful strides are to be
made in improving their health. It is estimated that as at June 2014, the Aboriginal and Torres
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