We remain in the midst of the world’s worst health crisis in a century. Millions of cases of COVID-19 have been diagnosed around the world and hundreds of thousands of deaths have ensued. So, who should we blame? Well, I think a more important question is, where does blame get us?
Food safety ministers are being urged to prioritise the health of families and the community when they meet on 17 July to vote on an effective pregnancy health warning for alcohol products. Alcohol is the leading cause of preventable non-genetic developmental disability in Australia. Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) affects between 2-9% of babies born each year.
The adage “never discuss politics or religion” is invariably proffered to us with well-meaning intent at some point during our life. If anything, when it comes to public health issues, we need to be discussing politics more, not less, and certainly not avoiding it altogether.
Many Australians would no doubt be shocked to learn that our current laws in every State and Territory allow children as young as 10 years old to be arrested by Police and sentenced to prison by Courts. That’s a primary school child, removed from their family, school and everything familiar to them, and locked in a cell. As a parent, it’s when your own child reaches the age of 10 that the horror of this possibility becomes real.
It is said that democracy is a frail flower in need of constant nurturing. Having decried our slip toward fascism (in Croakey and the Public Health Association of Australia blog) I thought it useful to think about actions the public health movement might take to stand up for democracy.
Two hugely important public health objectives – Black Lives Matter and COVID-19 have been framed as competing imperatives. They are not. The Black Lives Matter movement in Australia seeks to highlight the deplorable circumstances of disadvantage and discrimination experienced by Australia’s First people.
As the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us all too well, good health policy depends on prior planning, decisive action, and a willingness to spend money. But there’s another area where Australia’s willingness to plan and spend has fallen far short: monitoring breastfeeding rates.
Australia’s response to COVID-19 so far, has been one of the better examples globally: consistently led by medical and scientific advice. It was bipartisan, cooperative and decisive. Yet, this success has come at significant costs.
One-fifth of Australian women still don’t receive mental health checks both before and after the birth of their baby, our research published today has found.
By David Templeman, former Director General of Emergency Management Australia and President of the Public Health Association Australia As states … More
The fires, floods and COVID-19 pandemic have shown the fragility of industrial civilisation and the strength and resilience of people and community.
Q fever is an important human disease that is transmitted from animals. Most cases in Australia occur after exposure to farm animals, especially cattle, sheep, and goats. A recent increase in human Q fever cases in northern NSW in people without direct farm animal exposures raised concerns about alternative routes of infection, including from companion animals.
State governments are planning to reopen pokie venues due to heavy lobbying by the gambling industry. However, there a number of public health issues which need to be addressed to ensure reopening these venues will not endanger the health of those who use or work there.
As coronavirus restrictions continue to ease, one of the key challenges we face is how to deal with people moving around a lot more.
Cigarette butts have long been the most common item of litter globally. About four and a half trillion cigarette butts are disposed of in the environment each year. Despite the decrease in the number of smokers in Australia, butts remain the single most common item of litter.
Many jurisdictions around the world are now testing people without symptoms as part of efforts to manage COVID-19. In Victoria, asymptomatic health-care workers have been part of the recent “testing blitz”.
The recently created National COVID-19 Coordination Commission has been set up to advise on all non-health aspects on the pandemic. But there are serious concerns about its scope, membership and authority.
As of 10 May over four million COVID-19 cases had been reported worldwide, with 280,000 confirmed deaths. The pandemic has highlighted the need for strong national health systems and regional infectious disease monitoring.
In 2018, with our focus turned to the 2019 federal election, the Public Health Association of Australia (PHAA) launched the “Top Ten successes in Public Health in the past 20 years”. Even before seeing our list, most audiences can pick five to seven of the ten items on it, so obvious are some of the success stories.
An evaluation of the initial impacts of an alcohol minimum unit price in the Northern Territory has found that alcohol-fuelled harms have significantly reduced and it’s helping to create healthier and safer NT communities.
Major cities and their birds are breathing easier. Across China, smog has given way to the colour blue. Even the snow-capped Himalayas are visible from parts of Northern India for the first time in local’s memories.
One in two Australians has a chronic disease or condition such as diabetes, asthma, heart disease or cancer. Chronic disease is driven – and made worse – by social and economic inequities; disadvantaged communities and groups experience higher rates of chronic disease and poorer health outcomes
To understand the spread of COVID-19, the pandemic is more usefully viewed as a series of distinct local epidemics. The way the virus has spread in different countries, and even in particular states or regions within them, has been quite varied.
Imagine you have just been told you have COVID-19. We know this is infectious, so the chances are, you may well have given it to others already.
Now is not the time to cut funding to the world’s leading public health support agency.
Patents and related intellectual property rights can present formidable barriers to procuring medicines, vaccines, diagnostic tests and medical devices.
The Coronavirus pandemic draws our attention to the importance of public health in maintaining global human health