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National strategy needed on Aboriginal child health: report

Extract from Australian Broadcasting Corporation - ABC Online, on 3 June 2004


The authors of a report into Aboriginal child health say the alarming and disturbing statistics highlight the need for a national strategy to combat the problem.

The study has concluded that attempts to improve the state of Aboriginal health have not worked.

Five thousand Aboriginal children were surveyed by the Institute for Child Health Research for the landmark study.

It found the infant mortality rate is four times higher for Indigenous children compared to the rest of the population, 13 per cent are born prematurely and half of the mothers surveyed smoked during pregnancy.

The manager of the Kulunga Research network Heather D'Antoine says the health system needs to re-assess what is being done to combat the problem.

Curtin University associate professor Sven Silburn says it needs a whole of community response.

"And that includes everything from housing, through to education, through to the services that are available."


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