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Aboriginal health organisation praised for reducing risk of chronic disease in Far-West New South Wales

Date posted: 22 August 2017

An Aboriginal health organisation in Far-West New South Wales (NSW) is helping reduce the risks of chronic health conditions in the Indigenous community. Maari Ma Health Aboriginal Corporation has released its 10-year evaluation of its chronic disease strategy from 2005 to 2015.

Results have shown Far-West NSW clients with diabetes or coronary heart disease have improved their blood pressure, blood sugar levels, and cholesterol control and were better than the national average. There was also a slight decrease in hospitalisations for chronic conditions and reductions in the number of women who smoked and drank alcohol during pregnancy.

The Federal Minister for Indigenous Health, Ken Wyatt, said the results were impressive.

'I see Broken Hill and the far west as one of the jewels in The Crown for improving Aboriginal health because they are doing things that work,' said the Federal Minister.

Former Maari Ma CEO Richard Weston said the strategy should be used as a model for other parts of Australia, and spoke more explicitly about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health outcomes.

'We all know about the life expectancy gap between Aboriginal people and non-Aboriginal people and there's a living, breathing example out here that is making a real difference,' Mr Weston said.

'It's a regionally-based organisation that works under difficult circumstances, with a population that has probably had the poorest health outcomes in NSW. To be achieving what they're doing is phenomenal and it should be talked about a lot more,' he added.

Source: ABC News

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Last updated: 3 November 2017
 
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