COVID-19 support for indigenous people

COVID-19 support for indigenous people

Institutions are working together to provide practical and timely advice for primary healthcare teams supporting prevention and management of COVID-19 for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people across Australia.

The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP), National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO), the Lowitja Institute, and the Australian National University (ANU) are undertaking the work in conjunction with an expert committee guiding the work and providing recommendations for healthcare workers operating in Aboriginal community controlled health services and other primary care settings.

The first set of recommendations are being released today on National Sorry Day 2020, a day to acknowledge and recognise members of the Stolen Generations as part of an ongoing process of healing.

Tomorrow is the beginning of National Reconciliation Week where all Australians are encouraged to consider and embrace the theme “in this together”, and to take part in online events as well as use the hashtags #NRW2020 and #InThisTogether2020 to help spread awareness.

The recommendations focus on several vital issues, including best practice for transporting patients who do not have confirmed or probable COVID-19 but do have a fever or respiratory symptoms as well as quarantine measures for healthcare workers travelling to remote communities.

The recommendations also zero in on quarantine measures for healthcare workers travelling from higher prevalence areas to low prevalence areas.

Chair of the Expert Committee Dr Tanya Schramm says that the clinical recommendations will be updated on an ongoing basis.

“They will have to be updated as we watch and wait and see what actually happens in the COVID-19 space.

The RACGP and NACCHO have previously collaborated on the National Guide to a preventive health assessment for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples – a flagship publication, spearheaded by NACCHO, now in its third edition.