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.
By David Templeman, former Director General of Emergency Management Australia and President of the Public Health Association Australia As states … More
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