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In a move designed to bring greater resources to bear on Aboriginal health in Central Australia, the largest Aboriginal health service in the Northern Territory will join forces with one of Australia's most prominent medical research institutes under a new agreement to be signed today.
The Central Australian Aboriginal Congress Aboriginal Corporation (Congress) will enter into a memorandum of understanding with Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute, confirming a commitment from both parties to work together on research projects and clinical service delivery.
Infectious and chronic non-communicable diseases such as cardiovascular disease, kidney disease and diabetes are major contributors to the gap in life expectancy between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, cardiovascular disease rates are 30% higher among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples than non-Indigenous Australians.
Congress has a strong research reform agenda that seeks to challenge the behaviours and assumptions of non-Indigenous researchers engaged in research involving Aboriginal people. The new agreement addresses this commitment and highlights the importance of ethical conduct in Aboriginal health research and subsequent ownership of data. The agreement also aims to increase the capacity of Aboriginal people as investigators so that medical research is culturally valid and scientifically sound.
The agreement between Congress and Baker IDI seeks to address the gap in Aboriginal health outcomes through a number of initiatives, including:
To date, the two organisations have enjoyed a close working relationship and already have a number of collaborations in place, which include:
Source: Baker IDI Heart & Diabetes Institute