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The Current Health Status of Aboriginal Australian Population - Essay Example

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The Current Health Status of Aboriginal Australian Population

It has constantly been emphasized that the poor health and wellbeing of Aboriginal Australians is brought about by economic and social factors such as higher unemployment levels, poor nutrition and sanitation, congested housing, lack of access to education, and poverty. As a result, it has been proposed that the additional health risks of obesity, diabetes, and substance misuse make mortality rates among Aboriginal Australians significantly higher than that of the overall non-Aboriginal Australian population (Lawrence & Worsley, 2007). This paper discusses the factors that contribute to the current health and wellbeing of Aboriginal Australians, factors that increase the prevalence of diabetes, and potential community-focused solution. Contributing Factors to the Current Health of Australian Aboriginal People As stated in the National Aboriginal Health Strategy Working Party report, “health to Aboriginal peoples is a matter of determining all aspects of their life, including control over the physical environment, of dignity, of community self-esteem, and of justice. It is not merely a matter of the provision of doctors, hospitals, medicines or the absence of disease and incapacity” (Connor-Fleming & Parker, 2001, 210). Customarily, in Indigenous communities there was no term or word for ‘health’ as recognized by non-Indigenous people, and it would not be easy for Aborigines to view ‘health’ as part of their existence (Eagar & Garrett, 2001). This traditional belief is one of the major determinants of Aboriginal health. Health advocates engaged in programs for Aboriginal communities should be sensitive to this culturally oriented perception of health. Apparently, the Aboriginal perception of health should shape the context for any program supporting Aboriginal health. Second contributing factor is social disadvantage. It is well documented that social disadvantage has the ability to endanger individual health and wellbeing. The connection between poor health and social disadvantage is demonstrated in the health condition of Aboriginal people (Larkin, 2006). As revealed in the National Health Strategy Research paper No. 1, and substantiated by the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ Health and Welfare of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples research in 1999, there have been several improvements for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders on wider social determinants, especially education (Connor-Fleming & Parker, 2001, 210). Nevertheless, according to Larkin (2006), on determinants of housing, economic standing, and employment status, these people were below Australian standards. Several scholars, like Thomson (1991) and Couzos and Murray (1999), claim that considerable economic and social disadvantage, political subjugation, and a history of cultural displacement and bigotry lead to seriously poor health and wellbeing for Aboriginal Australians. Matthews (1992) argued that a diverse paradigm that recognizes both the medical and social aspects of poor health is important. Where social circumstances are most unfavorable, the necessity for useful healthcare initiatives is ...Show more
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Summary

Running Head: Nursing The Current Health Status of Aboriginal Australian Populations A Report Name Name of Professor Introduction It is widely known, according to Morrissey (2003), that the “health status of Indigenous Australians is greatly inferior to that of the non-Indigenous population and that this is most clearly demonstrated by their much shorter life expectancy” (as cited in Carpenter & Tait, 2009, 29)…
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