The Health News – 31 October 2016

Overview:
•  Dr Dilip Gahankari planning his 10th annual trip home to his birth country of India to perform lifesaving surgeries says it is an honour to help. Next month he will travel to a remote area of India to treat locals with tumours, deformities, and burns. Each year, he volunteers a week of his time performing back-to-back surgeries.

• A joint venture by eight hospitals around Australia is working to reduce the high rate of heart disease among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. An estimated 60 per cent of the Indigenous community is likely to die from coronary heart disease, a percentage health workers would like to reduce through the Lighthouse Project.

•  Indigenous organisation Wunan Foundation is applying to the Director of Liquor Licensing to have the daily per person quota of six bottles of wine or two cartons of beer cut in half. “Alcohol is causing huge amounts of harm in our community here and reducing the supply is one of the things we have to do,” the foundation’s executive director Ian Trust said.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the  31st of October 2016. Read by Rebecca Foster. Health News

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-10-30/dilip-gahankari-prepares-trip-india-perform-lifesaving-surgeries/7935082

A Gold Coast plastic surgeon planning his 10th annual trip home to his birth country of India to perform lifesaving surgeries says it is an honour to help.

Dr Dilip Gahankari will next month travel to a remote area of India to treat locals with tumours, deformities, and burns.

Each year, he volunteers a week of his time performing back-to-back surgeries.

“We don’t send anyone home,” Dr Gahankari said.

Dr Gahankari said he has treated hundreds of patients over the past decade but one particular case has remained with him.

Three years ago he treated an 18-month old baby girl for severe burns.

“And this was because of the burns she got when she was only six or seven months old and crawled into the fire.”

He and another surgeon performed skin grafts to treat the scarring.

“I saw this girl last year and she’s a completely different girl,” he said.

“She was playing around and it did bring tears to my eyes.”

Dr Gahankari said he vowed to help people in India when he left the country to study medicine in Australia.

Gold Coast theatre nurse Penny Young went on the trip in 2014 and said it was an eye-opening experience.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-10-30/lighthouse-project-seeks-to-reduce-indigenous-heart-disease/7978498

A joint venture by eight hospitals around Australia is working to reduce the high rate of heart disease among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

An estimated 60 per cent of the Indigenous community is likely to die from coronary heart disease, a percentage health workers would like to reduce through the Lighthouse Project.

Flinders Medical Centre, Adelaide, is a part of the pilot program.

Director of Cardiac Surgery Associate Professor Jayme Bennetts said Indigenous patients had a high … [rate] of diabetes, a lot of smoking. There’s a lot of exposure to westernised diets and high fat, sugar-laden foods,” he said.

Associate Professor Bennetts said their outcomes were also poorer than white Australians.

“There’s about a two times greater risk of dying in hospital after presenting with cardiac related illness” he said.

Other hospitals participating in the pilot program include Liverpool Hospital, Coffs Harbour Health Campus and Tamworth Hospital, New South Wales; Bairnsdale Regional Health Service and St Vincent’s Hospital, Victoria; Princess Alexandra Hospital, Queensland; and Royal Perth Hospital, Western Australia.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-10-30/kununurra-action-call-on-east-kimberley-alcohol-problems/7977374

There is a push in the East Kimberley to slash the amount of take-away alcohol being sold, with community leaders saying action is needed urgently to halt the drunken violence that is traumatising children and filling up police cells.

Indigenous organisation Wunan Foundation is applying to the Director of Liquor Licensing to have the daily per person quota of six bottles of wine or two cartons of beer cut in half.

“Alcohol is causing huge amounts of harm in our community here and reducing the supply is one of the things we have to do,” the foundation’s executive director Ian Trust said.

Police and hospital statistics reveal the extent of damage that occurs on a nightly basis in the towns of Kununurra and Wyndham.

In 2014, alcohol was a factor in 80 per cent of domestic assaults, double the rate seen across WA.

In the four years to 2012, hospital admissions linked to alcohol were four times the state’s average.

Senior Sergeant Steve Principe, who is the officer in charge of Kununurra police station, said he had not seen anything like it in his years of policing.