Response to Syphilis Outbreak Steps up Again

SourceThe Hon Ken Wyatt AM, MP, Media Hub, 26 March 2019

The Australian Government is again stepping up the fight against the syphilis outbreak affecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in central, northern and southern Australia.

The Morrison Government is again stepping up the fight against the syphilis outbreak affecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in central, northern and southern Australia.

In partnership with the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation, our Government has begun rolling out Phase 3 of its enhanced response to the outbreak.

Phase 3 extends the Test and Treat model to11 new Aboriginal Community-Controlled Health Services (ACCHS) in Western Australia, South Australia and the Northern Territory.

The response includes point of care test kits that enable immediate diagnosis and treatment of the disease, compared to a wait of up to two weeks for diagnosis using a traditional blood test.

Syphilis is preventable and treatable, but without treatment is deadly. We are making progress against this outbreak but it is shocking that it was allowed to become so entrenched in some First Nations communities.

The new phase will begin with training of staff and provision of kits at Mala’la Health Service in Maningrida, Western Arnhem Land, in the NT. This will be followed by roll out in the western, Eyre, far north and Adelaide regions of South Australia, and the Pilbara and Western Kimberley regions of Western Australia.

Read the full media release here.


STIs in remote Australia

Source: ABC Health Report, presented by Dr Norman Swan, 18 March 2019

A leading Aboriginal researcher is calling for action in remote Australia to deal with a preventable epidemic of sexually transmissible infections — including syphilis — in a population that's no more sexually active than non-Indigenous people of the same age.

Listen to the broadcast here.

Professor James Ward will address the National Rural Health Conference 2019 (24-27 Marchon the topic of addressing sexually transmitted infections in remote Australia. 

Guests:

Professor James Ward

Associate Professor, Flinders University; Head of Infectious Diseases Research, Aboriginal Health, South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute

Host:

Dr Norman Swan

Producer:

James Bullen