Almost 2 years after complaints about numerous hangover products were submitted to the TGA they have finally published one outcome. The TGA agreed there was insufficient evidence to support claims related to hangover relief. This important result is buried in an obscure section of the TGA’s website, has not been publicised, and has yet to be applied to the many other products complained about.
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.
The poorest Australians are twice as likely to die before age 75 as the richest, and the gap is widening. People living in socially disadvantaged areas and outside major cities are much more likely to die prematurely, our new research shows.
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…
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.
This National Reconciliation Week is a good time to decide where you fit – how can you support the future of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Just three per cent of the Australian population, are Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. We need the other 97 per cent of Australians to do the heavy lifting if we are ever to see true reconciliation.
COVID-19 shows the urgency of global public health investments. The virus has no vaccine yet, but a host of other infections do. Measles; polio, whooping cough; forms of meningitis and pneumonia; and other diseases have vaccines that substantially reduce their risks.
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”.
You can almost hear the collective sigh of relief as coronavirus restrictions are eased across Australia.
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.
Supermarkets like to portray themselves as having the health of the community at heart.
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.
Last week the head of Australia’s Digital Transformation Agency, Randall Brugeaud, told a Senate committee hearing an updated version of Australia’s COVIDSafe contact-tracing app would soon be released. That’s because the current version doesn’t work properly on Apple phones.
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.
Social distancing is largely self-regulated, with people generally doing the right thing on their own. The police are enforcing these important public health guidelines, notably in public places. But are police enforcing restrictions equally, without any racial discrimination?
For many of us, forced to work at home or to not work at all, the COVID-19 crisis has driven home the importance of mental health and how work interacts with our sense of wellbeing.
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
As the extraordinary health toll mounts around the world it might seem perverse to be talking about the positive impacts of the pandemic crisis that has changed our lives.
The world has changed. Few people on the planet could have remained unaffected by the events of the first three months of 2020.
The features of cruises and cruise ships, closed environments, close contact between travellers from many countries, and the transfer of crew (and sometimes passengers) between ships, mean that cruise ships are a susceptible to the spread of infectious diseases.
If you have a baby, you may be worried about them catching the coronavirus, particularly after media reports of an Australian infant diagnosed with it.