Health News – 12 Jan 2015

Overview

  • Educators and health professionals from around the country gathered at the University of Wollongong this last week to finalise the curriculum for Australia’s first course in Indigenous Trauma Recovery.
  • A mass HIV outbreak in a Cambodian village was most likely caused by contaminated medical equipment, the World Health Organisation and Cambodian health ministry say. The unlicensed Cambodian doctor has been charged with murder after he admitted reusing needles and syringes at his clinic.
  • Attracting and retaining doctors can be a tough task in remote outback Queensland. But in the small town of Winton, an Indian GP is thriving in her new home and says she has no plans to move on.


News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 12th January 2015. Read by Rebecca Foster. Health News

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-01-09/trauma-progam/6008832

Educators and health professionals from around the country gathered at the University of Wollongong this last week to finalise the curriculum for Australia’s first course in Indigenous Trauma Recovery.

It is adapted from a program developed at the USA’s Harvard University that has already been used to assist earthquake survivors in Japan and victims of the Iraq wars.

Program coordinator Debra Hocking says Wollongong University became involved via a local academic who was studying under Harvard trauma expert Richard Mollica.

“They were just chatting and he said you should see the state of things in Australia so he came out, the co-ordinator of the Harvard program, and travelled around the Northern Territory, New South Wales and Queensland.

“And what he saw was just amazing, he had never seen anything quite like it.

“You know people living in third world conditions, the amount of violence, the amount of drugs, child sexual abuse and so on.”

Ms Hockey says the program responds to a critical need within Aboriginal communities and draws on a wide range of academic and community expertise.

One of the course contributors to travel to Wollongong, Ngiare Brown from the National Aboriginal Controlled Health Organisation, says part of her work involves advising on how to implement key initiatives.

“Largely around the primary secondary and tertiary prevention kind of model and how we address it in terms of community level education and awareness,” she said.

“But then how we identify and deal with people that are at risk or vulnerable, as well as being able to provide the kinds rehabilitation and ongoing care for those that are already affected.”

The course is being developed at UOW’s Faculty of Science, Medicine and Health with the first intake expected in June.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-01-10/hiv-outbreak-in-cambodia-blamed-on-reused-needles/6010550

A mass HIV outbreak in a Cambodian village was most likely caused by contaminated medical equipment, the World Health Organisation and Cambodian health ministry say.

Hundreds of panicked residents of the remote Roka village in western Battambang province have flocked for testing since news of the infections first emerged in late November.

An unlicensed Cambodian doctor has been charged with murder after he admitted reusing needles and syringes at his clinic.

A joint study carried out by the WHO and the health ministry found 212 people have now been found to be carrying the virus out of 1,940 people tested so far – with contaminated equipment the most likely cause.

“The study showed that the percentage of people that reported receiving an injection or intravenous infusion as part of their health treatment was significantly higher among the people who tested positive for HIV than the people who were HIV negative,” a joint statement said.

Researchers added that other potential transmission routes – such as unprotected sex, drug use and mother-to-child transmission – had been ruled unlikely.

At least 174 of those with HIV – including 39 people aged 14 or younger and 46 people aged 60 years old or older – are from Roka village.

Yem Chroeum, a 55-year-old self-styled doctor, admitted reusing needles and syringes on different patients, police said.

Alongside murder, Yem Chroeum has also been charged with deliberately infecting people with HIV and operating an unlicensed clinic.

He faces a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.

Cambodia’s health minister Mam Bunheng called on medical staff to “use clean and sterile equipment”.

“We have reinforced implementation of the ministry of health policy to stop unlicensed informal medical practices,” he said in the statement.

The outbreak first came to the authorities’ attention in late November when a 74-year-old Roka man tested positive at a local health centre for the virus.

His granddaughter and son-in-law also tested positive soon afterwards, according to the health ministry.

Cambodia has been widely hailed for its efforts in tackling HIV/AIDS.

The National AIDS Authority says the rate of HIV infection among people aged 15 to 49 has declined from 0.6 per cent in 2013 to 0.4 per cent in 2014.

Currently, Cambodia estimates more than 73,000 people live with the illness.

The country is aiming to stamp out new HIV/AIDS infections by 2020.

http://www.abc.net.au/local/videos/2015/01/09/4159830.htm?site=westqld

Attracting and retaining doctors can be a tough task in remote outback Queensland. But in the small town of Winton, an Indian GP is thriving in her new home and says she has no plans to move on.

Dr Kriranmai Reddyvari and her family moved to Winton last year after living in Adelaide for 10 years.

She is the town’s first permanent GP in more than six years.

“When I came I saw the happiness on the people’s faces because (they can now see) a regular doctor all the time – same face all the time,” she said.
“I kind of understand that as well.

“If I’m a patient seeing a different face all the time, the continuity of care and everything would be compromised in some aspects.

“I think having a regular doctor is good for the town, and people are lovely and welcoming as well.”

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