Miwatj Health Aboriginal Corporation Newsletter – February 2013

The February newsletter is ready to download. It includes stories on; Introducing Miwatj Partner – One Disease At A Time, CEO Report, DMS Report, Renal Unit update, Miwatj Cricket trip, Program Snapshot – Raypirri Rom Wellbeing, Tackling Tobacco update, Carpark upgrade, Revised Chronic Disease Policy, HR Messages and Policy of the month. Download here MHAC newsletter edition 10 Feb 2013

Director of Miwatj honoured in Australia Day awards

Aust Of The Year Tony WurramarrbaThe staff and Board of Miwatj were proud to hear that Tony Wurramarrba was made an Officer (AO) in the General Division of the Order of Australia awards. Tony received this for distinguished service to the indigenous community of the Groote Eylandt Archipelago through leadership and advocacy for improved services and infrastructure. Chairman John Morgan commented that “Tony is one of our most effective spokesmen. He has a track record of effective leadership of his people, and at Board meetings always speaks strongly for the right of Aboriginal people to good health and to control their own health services. We congratulate him on this well-deserved award.” Australian Government – Honours website

Yirrkala comes on board!

Board Member Djapirri Mununggurr outside the Yirrkala Clinic

Board Member Djapirri Mununggurr outside the Yirrkala Clinic

The people of Yirrkala community have a strong record of standing up for their rights – from the Bark Petition protesting the takeover of their traditional lands by a mining company in the 1960s, to the High Court case which granted Aboriginal people rights to sea country in 2008.

And now they have taken another big step forward, as management of their health care changes from the NT Government to a community-controlled organisation, Miwatj Health.

Resident of Yirrkala and member of the Board of Miwatj (and signatory to the original Bark Petition), Wali Wunungmurra, expressed his delight at the change. ‘We’ve been talking about, and requesting this, for many years’, he said. ‘It’s been too much talk and not enough action, but at last we’re there.’

Miwatj Health is working with the staff at Yirrkala health centre in a ‘systems approach’ to health care. ‘We have to balance the need to provide acute care with the need to implement a longer-term preventive approach’, said Dr Angela Woltmann, the Medical Director at Miwatj. ‘But we’re optimistic about the way we’re going, and look forward to getting to really know this community and its needs.’

Strongyloides Story

strongyloides flip chartStrongyloidiasis is caused by a worm living inside the body called Strongyloides stercoralis.
Other worms can make us sick, but Strongyloides can kill us.
Dr Wendy Page has received Ethics approval for her Research project on Strongyloides: Towards a National Strongyloidiasis Control Programme. Wendy has been a passionate advocate for better understanding and management of this condition which is very prevalent in East Arnhem. As part of this research a flip chart has been developed that is available to download here

The Chair of Miwatj Health, John Morgan, the Chair of 1Disease, Dr Sam Prince, and the CEO of NT Health, Jeff Moffet, accept a message-stick at Yirrkala as a sign of the partnership between their organizations

The Chair of Miwatj Health, John Morgan, the Chair of 1Disease, Dr Sam Prince, and the CEO of NT Health, Jeff Moffet, accept a message-stick at Yirrkala as a sign of the partnership between their organizations

Partnering with One Disease At A Time

Miwatj Health is involved in a unique partnership with a private foundation, One Disease At A Time (ODAAT), to reduce the incidence of scabies in the region. In remote Indigenous communities, scabies affects 7 out of 10 children before their first birthday. Scabies infections and resulting skin sores can lead to chronic diseases, including kidney failure, rheumatic heart disease and premature death. The work of ODAAT has changed the way in which scabies is treated: for the first time in Australia, a preventative chronic care approach to crusted scabies has become part of written treatment guidelines (CARPA), and steps have been taken to allow Ivermectin (oral  treatment for scabies) to be more easily prescribed and therefore more accessible in the community. ODAAT, with help from the Commonwealth Department of Health, is also working to facilitate the availability of washing machines in remote locations so that bedding and clothing can be washed more frequently, as a further preventive measure. ODAAT and Miwatj aim to eliminate crusted scabies as a health problem in the region, and are on-track to achieve that.


Download the One Disease at a Time – End of Year Report 2012

Or visit the One Disease at a Time website


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