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Australian Indigenous HealthBulletin Alcohol and other drugs knowledge centre Yarning Places

Dialysis in remote Aboriginal communities (2001)


Rivalland P









The Western Desert dialysis appeal is a community project which is run by a committee of Yanangu people. The project aims to assist in the provision of dialysis treatment for people within their communities in preference to them having to move to other areas to access treatment. The following booklets have been written for Central Australian Aboriginal communities. They are designed to raise awareness of the issues associated with dialysis.

Booklet 1 - What is dialysis and how big is the problem in the NT? - discusses end-stage renal disease (ESRD) and outlines treatment options. It also provides some basic data on the rates of ESRD among the Indigenous population with a focus on the Northern Territory. Included in the booklet are photographs of Indigenous people receiving treatment.

Booklet 2 - What is the cost of dialysis? - outlines the cost of dialysis treatment. The assessment considers the impact on individuals and the community in terms of: decision-making; housing; schooling; community services; employment; community visits and health services. Included are brief details of the experiences of people who have moved away from home for dialysis. Part 2 of the booklet introduces the concept of developing a satellite dialysis unit in Central Australia and details the requirements for cooperation and involvement from communities.

Booklet 3 - How can you do your own dialysis in a remote area? - explains the practical concerns with peritoneal dialysis and haemodialysis in a remote area and what is involved in self-care options. It also stresses the importance of adequate home and community facilities for supporting haemodialysis equipment and the need for a trained buddy or 'malpa' to sit with the person during their treatment.

Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet abstract

Contact details

Paul Rivalland, Project Manager
PO Box 562
Howard Springs NT 0835
Ph: (08) 8983 3367
Fax: (08) 8983 4467



Last updated: 22 October 2014
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