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Australian Indigenous HealthBulletin
 

Publications

2014

Atkinson JR, Boudville AI, Stanford EE, Lange FD, Anjou MD (2014)

Australian Football League clinics promoting health, hygiene and trachoma elimination: the Northern Territory experience.

Australian Journal of Primary Health; 20(4): 334-338

Communicable Disease Network Australia (2014)

Trachoma: CDNA national guidelines for the public health management of trachoma.

Canberra: Department of Health, Australia

The National guidelines for the public health management of trachoma provide the evidence base and policy framework for coordinated, community-based activities towards eliminating blinding trachoma from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities by 2020, in line with Australia's commitment to the World Health Organization (WHO) GET2020 initiative.

The guidelines adapt the WHO SAFE strategy for trachoma elimination to the Australian context and prioritise:

  • regular screening of at risk communities for active trachoma
  • appropriate treatment of individuals and community members
  • promotion of facial hygiene
  • improvement of environmental conditions
  • detection, referral and surgical intervention for people with trichiasis.

Abstract adapted from Communicable Disease Network Australia

Lange FD, Baunach E, McKenzie R, Taylor HR (2014)

Trachoma elimination in remote Indigenous Northern Territory communities: baseline health-promotion study.

Australian Journal of Primary Health; 20(1): 34-40

The Kirby Institute (2014)

Australian trachoma surveillance report 2013.

Sydney: The Kirby Institute, University of New South Wales

2013

Cowling CS, Liu BC, Ward JS, Snelling TL, Kaldor JM, Wilson DP (2013)

Australian Trachoma Surveillance annual report, 2011.

Communicable Diseases Intelligence; 37(2): E121-E129

Johnson B, Gunn J (2013)

A is for antibiotics: mass drug administration as a strategy to control trachoma in remote Indigenous communities.

Northern Territory Disease Control Bulletin; 20(4): 23-28

Jones S, Whitehead O, Brian G (2013)

Trachoma in Far North Queensland: an example of poor population health practice.

Clinical & Experimental Ophthalmology; 41(6): 607–608

Landers J, Henderson T, Craig JE (2013)

Incidence of visual impairment due to cataract, diabetic retinopathy and trachoma in Indigenous Australians within Central Australia: the Central Australian Ocular Health Study.

Clinical & Experimental Ophthalmology; 41(1): 50–55

MacRae A, Thomson N, Anomie, Burns J, Catto M, Gray C, Levitan L, McLoughlin N, Potter C, Ride K, Stumpers S, Trzesinski A, Urquhart B (2013)

Overview of Australian Indigenous health status, 2012.

Perth, WA: Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet

This report provides recent information on:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations
  • the context of Indigenous health
  • various measures of population health status
  • selected health conditions
  • health risk and protective factors.

This Overview draws on statistics and other published and unpublished materials to provide up-to-date, detailed information about the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in 2012. It highlights a number of improvements in certain aspects of Indigenous health, but underlines that ongoing work is needed to 'close the gap' in health status between Indigenous and other Australians.

Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet abstract

Taylor HR, Anjou MD (2013)

Trachoma in Australia: an update.

Clinical & Experimental Ophthalmology; 41(5): 508–512

The Kirby Institute (2013)

Australian trachoma surveillance report 2012.

Sydney: The Kirby Institute, University of New South Wales

This report contains trachoma screening and management data for 2012 from the Northern Territory (NT), South Australia (SA), Western Australia (WA) and Queensland (Qld). A total of 195 (96%) of 204 designated at-risk communities were screened for trachoma during 2012, and data were analysed by region.

Children from 0-14 years were assessed for clean faces and active trachoma and adults aged 40 years and older were screened for trichiasis. Health promotion activities were also recorded.

Important findings from this report include:

  • an increase in screening coverage of communities in WA, SA and NT
  • a decrease in the national prevalence of trachoma in the 5-9 year age group, from 7% in 2011 to 4% in 2012
  • no active trachoma was detected in Queensland.

Trachoma surveillance and management has been undertaken since 2006 guided by the Communicable Disease Network of Australia (CDNA) Guidelines for the public management of trachoma in Australia 2006.

Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet abstract

Williams P, Oosterhuis C, O'Neill M (2013)

A trichiasis screening program in the Kimberley 2008–2010.

Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health; 37(3): 290

2012

Baunach E, Lines D, Pedwel B, Lange F, Cooney R, Taylor HR (2012)

The development of culturally safe and relevant health promotion resources for effective trachoma elimination in remote Aboriginal communities.

Aboriginal and Islander Health Worker Journal; 36(2): 9-11,16,19

Council of Australian Government (2012)

Project agreement on improving trachoma control services for Indigenous Australians.

Canberra: Standing Council on Federal Financial Relations

The Project agreement on improving trachoma control services for Indigenous Australians will support the delivery of additional trachoma control services and additional activities to improve the mapping, identification, screening, treatment, management and prevention of trachoma and trichiasis for Indigenous Australians.

Individual agreements exist between the Commonwealth of Australia and each of the following states and territories:

  • Western Australia
  • Queensland
  • New South Wales
  • Northern Territory
  • South Australia.

The agreements form part of the broader funding measure on Improving eye and ear health services for Indigenous Australians for better education and employment outcomes.

Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet abstract

Cowling CS, Popovic G, Liu BC, Ward JS, Snelling TL, Kaldor JM, Wilson DP (2012)

Australian trachoma surveillance annual report, 2010.

Communicable Diseases Intelligence; 36(3): E242–E250

Ejere HOD, Alhassan MB, Rabiu M (2012)

Face washing promotion for preventing active trachoma.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews; (4): CD003659

Retrieved 2 September 2011 from http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/14651858.CD003659.pub3

Maher L, Brown AM, Torvaldsen S, Dawson AJ, Patterson JA, Lawrence G (2012)

Eye health services for Aboriginal people in the western region of NSW, 2010.

New South Wales Public Health Bulletin; 23(4): 81-86

Milne C (2012)

Adverse outcomes following the use of azithromycin for trachoma treatment in babies.

Northern Territory Disease Control Bulletin; 19(3): 21-27

Taylor HR, English DR, Field BA, Spicer PE, Graham DM (2012)

Prevalence of trachoma in a single community, 1975–2007.

Clinical & Experimental Ophthalmology; 40(2): 121-126

The Kirby Institute (2012)

Australian trachoma surveillance report 2011.

Sydney: The Kirby Institute, University of New South Wales

2011

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (2011)

Eye health in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Canberra: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare

This paper summarises the findings of the 2008 National Indigenous eye health survey and presents data from the National Trachoma Surveillance and Reporting Unit, Medicare, hospital data collections and case studies.

The major findings include:

  • Indigenous people over the age of 40 have six times the rate of blindness of non-Indigenous Australians
  • Indigenous children have less poor vision than non-Indigenous children
  • 94% of vision loss in Indigenous Australians is preventable or treatable
  • 35% of Indigenous Australians report they have never had an eye examination
  • trachoma was found in one half of very remote communities at endemic levels
  • cataract was the cause of one-third of blindness in Indigenous adults.

Research suggests that improved vision is associated with provision of eye services by the community-controlled sector and that well coordinated services are more productive, have shorter waiting lists and save money.

Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet abstract

enHealth Working Group for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Environmental Health (2011)

8th National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Environmental Health Conference Darwin, NT.

Canberra: Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing

This conference monograph was produced by the enHealth Working Group on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Environmental Health (WGATSIEH), and details the proceedings of the 8th National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Environmental Health Conference held in Darwin at the Darwin Convention Centre, 27-30 September 2011.

Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet abstract

Hansen-Knarhoi M (2011)

Towards GET 2020: trachoma in the Northern Territory 2010.

Northern Territory Disease Control Bulletin; 18(3): 24-32

Kelaher M, Ferdinand AS, Taylor HR (2011)

Azithromycin treatment levels inadequate for recommended trachoma control guidelines: letters.

Medical Journal of Australia; 194(2): 102

Correcting ten myths about eliminating trachoma (2011)

Lange F, Taylor HR

This factsheet, produced by the Indigenous Eye Health Unit at Melbourne University, provides answers to 10 commonly asked questions about trachoma and its control. It aims to dispel misconceptions about the elimination of trachoma in Australian communities. Information is also provided about the culturally specific health promotion resource developed for trachoma elimination programs in Australia, the Trachoma story kit.

Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet abstract

Maher L, Taylor HR, Barton J (2011)

Trachoma.

NSW Public Health Bulletin; 22(10): 209

Mansfield K, Gunn J, Wilson N, Scott L (2011)

Acute post-streptococcal glomerulonephritis and opportunistic trachoma screening in an Indigenous community in the Northern Territory, 2011.

Northern Territory Disease Control Bulletin; 18(4): 8-12

Michel C-EC, Roper KG, Divena MA, Lee HH, Taylor HR (2011)

Correlation of clinical Trachoma and infection in Aboriginal communities.

PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases; 5(3): e986

Taylor HR, Boudville A, Anjou M, McNeil R (2011)

The roadmap to close the gap for vision: summary report.

Melbourne: Indigenous Eye Health Unit, the University of Melbourne

This report is the third part in a series produced by the Indigenous Eye Health Unit at the University of Melbourne, following from the National Indigenous eye health survey report and Access to eye health services among Indigenous Australians. The report makes important recommendations for policy change in eye and vision health across all levels of government in Australia. Each policy recommendation is explained, all possible outcomes are explored, and costings presented clearly. There is also a 'recommendation implementation map' with a timeline for actioning of each recommendation.

Importantly, the report dispels some common myths about Indigenous eye and vision health: poor vision and blindness are the third leading cause of the health gap among Indigenous populations (after cardiovascular disease and diabetes) and increase mortality rates 2.6 times, much of it due to increased risk of injury. Indigenous Australian adults have blindness rates six times the rate of the mainstream; and, although 94% of vision loss is preventable and treatable, 35% of all adults have never had an eye exam. This report represents an important contribution to policy debates.

Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet abstract

Taylor HR, Dunt D, Hsueh Y, Brando A (2011)

Projected needs for eye care services for Indigenous Australians.

Melbourne: Indigenous Eye Health Unit, the University of Melbourne

The Kirby Institute (2011)

Australian trachoma surveillance report 2010.

Sydney: The Kirby Institute, University of New South Wales

2010

Adams K, Burgess J, Dharmage S (2010)

Trachoma surveillance report 2009.

Melbourne: National Trachoma Surveillance and Reporting Unit

This is the fourth surveillance report compiled for the National Trachoma Surveillance and Reporting Unit (NTSRU) by the Centre for Molecular, Environmental, Genetic and Analytic Epidemiology at the School of Population Health, University of Melbourne.

The report compares the 2009 data with results from the screenings in 2006, 2007 and 2008. It comments on the implementation of the Communicable Disease Network Australia (CDNA) guidelines' Minimum best-practice approach. The CDNA guidelines are based on the World Health Organisation's (WHO) SAFE strategy: Surgery (for trichiasis), Antibiotic treatment, Facial Cleanliness and Environmental improvement. The WHO aims at eliminating blinding trachoma by 2020. Australia is the only developed nation where trachoma is present.

The focus of the report is data for Aboriginal children aged 1 to 9 years, across 15 regions and 289 communities in the Northern Territory, South Australia and Western Australia. Main messages from the report are:

  • Endemic trachoma remains a major public health problem among Indigenous Australians, detected in 60% of the communities surveyed.
  • The prevalence of trachoma across Australia has not changed over the four years.
  • There is a large pool of undiagnosed and untreated trachoma among Indigenous children, with prevalence of 14%.
  • There is a lesser but still substantial pool of untreated trichiasis (in-turned eyelashes) among Indigenous adults, with prevalence of 4%.
  • There is some evidence that the SAFE intervention is having an impact on reducing trachoma prevalence in Western Australia.

Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet abstract

Adams KS, Burgess JA, Dharmage SC, Taylor H (2010)

Trachoma surveillance in Australia, 2009: a report by the National Trachoma Surveillance and Reporting Unit.

Communicable Diseases Intelligence; 34(4): 375-395

Atik A (2010)

Trachoma in Australia – eye to eye with reality.

Aboriginal and Islander Health Worker Journal; 34(5): 20-22

HealthConsult (2010)

Review of current arrangements for the collection, recording, transfer and reporting of national trachoma data.

Canberra: Office of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health, Department of Health and Ageing

Trachoma resource book (2010)

Hooshmand J, Taylor HR, Stanford E

This book is designed for regional health professionals who deal with trachoma. It forms part of the Trachoma story kit and provides more detailed information on how the condition spreads and how it is controlled. The book comprises of health promotional and educational type materials and uses coloured diagrams and pictures to assist with the identification, treatment and prevention of trachoma.

Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet abstract

The trachoma story kit (2010)

Indigenous Eye Health Unit

The Trachoma story kit is a 'one-stop-shop' of resources, suitable for clinics, schools, and community wide programs. It comes with trachoma clinical education and culturally specific, health promotion resources including:

  • flipcharts
  • resources books
  • World Health Organization grading card
  • teacher books
  • student lesson plans
  • DVDs
  • posters.

The new trachoma resources DVD showcases the creative work of communities and program partners over two years of concerted trachoma elimination in the Northern Territory. The health promotion message 'clean faces, strong eyes' is brought to life in many remote communities with original songs, videos, television advertisements and animations by well-known Indigenous artists, hip hop performers, children's television characters, and school children and adults from remote Indigenous communities.

As well as standard trachoma health education tools, there are resources especially designed to actively engage kids and people in Indigenous communities. These include:

  • temporary tattoos
  • goanna ink stamps
  • football hero posters
  • student booklets
  • chatterboxes.

Background
Since being launched in August 2010, around 700 Trachoma story kits have been used in a concerted effort to eliminate trachoma in Australia. They are used in clinics, schools and community workplaces in the Northern Territory, South Australia, Western Australia, Queensland and New South Wales to provide clear and consistent messages about trachoma, how it is spread and how everyone can help to eliminate it.

The Trachoma story kits are free of charge with no cost other than freight. Extra supplies of tattoos, goanna ink stamp, Jabby DVD, the trachoma resources DVD, and A2 size community flipchart (useful for large groups), are available at cost plus freight.

Abstract adapted from the Indigenous Eye Health Unit

Kelaher M, Ferdinand A, Ngo S, Tambuwla N, Taylor HR (2010)

Access to eye health services among Indigenous Australians: an area level analysis.

Melbourne: Indigenous Eye Health Unit, Melbourne School of Population Health

Landers J, Henderson T, Craig J (2010)

Prevalence and associations of blinding trachoma in Indigenous Australians within Central Australia: the Central Australian Ocular Health Study.

Clinical & Experimental Ophthalmology; 38(4): 389-404

Lansingh VC, Mukesh BN, Keeffe JE, Taylor HR (2010)

Trachoma control in two Central Australian Aboriginal communities: a case study.

International Ophthalmology; 30(4): 367-375

Taylor H, Gruen R (2010)

Trachoma: antibiotic treatments of Trachoma: a systematic review.

Melbourne: Indigenous Eye Health Unit, University of Melbourne

Taylor HR, Fox SS, Xie J, Dunn RA, Arnold A-LMR, Keeffe JE (2010)

The prevalence of trachoma in Australia: the National Indigenous Eye Health Survey.

Medical Journal of Australia; 192(5): 248-253

Taylor HR, Stanford E (2010)

Provision of Indigenous eye health services.

Melbourne: Indigenous Eye Health Unit, Melbourne School of Population Health

Wright HR, Keeffe JE, Taylor HR (2010)

Barriers to the implementation of the SAFE strategy to combat hyperendemic trachoma in Australia.

Ophthalmic Epidemiology; 17(6): 349-359

2009

Roper KG, Taylor HR (2009)

Comparison of clinical and photographic assessment of trachoma.

British Journal of Ophthalmology; (Epub ahead of print):

Taylor HR, National Indigenous Eye Health Survey Team (2009)

National Indigenous eye health survey: minum barreng (tracking eyes): full report.

Melbourne: Indigenous Eye Health Unit, The University of Melbourne

This report details the findings of the National Indigenous Eye Health Survey which was conducted in 2008 to define:

  • the extent of vision loss in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples
  • the causes of vision loss in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples
  • the impact of vision loss in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations.

The survey was designed to plan and prioritise the effective delivery of eye care for Indigenous people. Overall 2,883 Indigenous people were examined. The report records the extent of eye health problems such as refractive error, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, blindness and trachoma.

Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet abstract

Taylor HR (2009)

Trichiasis: out of mind, out of sight [letter to the editor].

Australian Journal of Rural Health; 17(3): 171

Tellis B, Fotis K, Dunn R, Keeffe J, Taylor H (2009)

Trachoma surveillance report 2008.

Melbourne, Vic: National Trachoma Surveillance and Reporting Unit, Centre for Eye Research Australia

Wright HR, Keeffe JE, Taylor HR (2009)

Trachoma, cataracts and uncorrected refractive error are still important contributors to visual morbidity in two remote Indigenous communities of the Northern Territory, Australia.

Clinical & Experimental Ophthalmology; 37(6): 550-557

2008

Centre for Disease Control (2008)

Guidelines for management of trachoma in the Northern Territory.

Darwin: Northern Territory Centre for Disease Control

The Guidelines for management of trachoma in the Northern Territory 2008 were adapted from the Communicable Disease Network Australia (CDNA) Guidelines for the public health management of trachoma in Australia 2006, to reflect the unique needs of the Northern Territory.

The guidelines differ from the CDNA guidelines in the following ways.

  1. Azithromycin antibiotic treatment is recommended for all cases and household contacts of trachoma including babies
  2. Children under 6 months of age who receive azithromycin should be actively followed up at 1 week and 4 weeks to observe for adverse effects
  3. In communities where the rate of trachoma is greater than 20%, re-treatment with azithromycin after 6 months is strongly encouraged.

Abstract adapted from Northern Territory Centre for Disease Control

Coffey C (2008)

Centre for Disease Control guidelines for management of trachoma in the Northern Territory.

Northern Territory Disease Control Bulletin; 15(2): 1-4

This article summarises the Guidelines for trachoma management in the Northern Territory, which were adapted from the Communicable Disease Network Australia (CDNA) national Guidelines for the public health management of trachoma in Australia 2006 to reflect the unique needs of the Northern Territory (NT). The CDNA guidelines provide a minimum best practice framework for the management of trachoma.

The article provides information for those working in the fields of eye health, environmental health and health promotion in the NT, including:

  • training and surveillance
  • management
    • surgery
    • antibiotics
    • face washing
    • environmental health and health promotion
  • data collection
  • resources
    • Help stop trachoma poster developed by the Western Australian Department of Health
    • Trachoma kit
    • Trachoma eye sickness flip chart.

Abstract adapted from the Centre for Disease Control, NT

Couzos S, Taylor H, Wright H (2008)

Trachoma.

In: Couzos S, Murray R, eds. Aboriginal primary health care: an evidence-based approach. 3rd ed. South Melbourne: Oxford University Press: 708-731

McDonald E, Bailie R, Brewster D, Morris P (2008)

Are hygiene and public health interventions likely to improve outcomes for Australian Aboriginal children living in remote communities? A systematic review of the literature.

BMC Public Health; 8: 153

Retrieved 8 May 2008 from http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2458/8/153

Porter M, Mak D, Chidlow G, Harnett GB, Smith DW (2008)

The molecular epidemiology of ocular chlamydia trachomatis infections in Western Australia: implications for trachoma control.

American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene; 78(3): 514-517

Roper K, Michel C-EC, Kelly PM, Taylor HR (2008)

Prevalence of trachoma in Aboriginal communities in the Katherine region of the Northern Territory in 2007 [letter].

Medical Journal of Australia; 189(7): 409

Rubin T, Franklin R, Scarr J, Peden A (2008)

Facilities, program and services for water safety of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders in rural and remote Australia: issues paper.

Sydney: Australian Water Safety Council

Rubin T, Franklin RC, Scarr J, Peden A (2008)

Swimming pools in remote communities: an opportunity for more than getting wet.

intouch; 25(3): 4-5

Taylor HR (2008)

Trachoma: a blinding scourge from the bronze age to the twenty-first century.

East Melbourne: Centre for Eye Research Australia

Tellis B, Dunn R, Keeffe J, Taylor H (2008)

Trachoma surveillance report 2007.

Melbourne: National Trachoma Surveillance and Reporting Unit, Centre for Eye Research Australia

Tellis B, Keeffe JE, Taylor HR (2008)

Trachoma surveillance annual report, 2007: a report by the National Trachoma Surveillance and Reporting Unit.

Communicable Diseases Intelligence; 32(4): 388-399

The Chronicle (2008)

The Canteen Creek Snot Campaign: an innovative approach to trachoma.

The Chronicle; 11(3): 25-26

 
Last updated: 10 December 2014
 
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