The Health News – 5 January 2017

Overview:
• Despite the ‘No jab, No play’ policy implemented last year, Victoria’s immunisation rate in children still remains a problem. Currently about 7% of children under the age of six are not vaccinated, leaving holes in the state’s so-called Herd Immunity.

• France recently joined the Opt-Out Policy, along with Spain, Austria, Belgium, and Singapore. However, Australia is unlikely to join the  Opt-Out Policy. This policy that presumes an individual to be organ donors unless they officially register to opt out.

• The Australian Medical Association (AMA) is calling for a real-time national register for firearms so authorities can have a central point to access information, which it says will help reduce gun violence.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the  5th of January 2017. Read by Rebecca Foster. Health News

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-01-04/vaccination-campaign-hoped-to-boost-herd-immunity-in-victoria/8161366

A year after the State Government introduced the ‘no jab, no play’ policy making it mandatory for children attending pre-school to be vaccinated, Victoria’s immunisation rate remains a problem.

Currently about 7 per cent of Victorian children under the age of six are not vaccinated, leaving holes in the state’s so-called herd immunity.

Toddler Sonny Mara has a rare immune deficiency disorder that prevents him generating anti-bodies.

He cannot fight infection and disease, which means he cannot be vaccinated.

“His body doesn’t respond to vaccinations”, his mother Caitlin Mara said.

Sonny is reliant on herd immunity to stop him contracting preventable diseases.

He needs the children around him to be vaccinated.

Herd immunity requires vaccination rates to be at least 95 per cent of the population.

Several Victorian communities have immunisations rates below 90 per cent, including Hepburn in regional Victoria and the city areas of Melbourne and Port Phillip.

It is spending $750,000 on a new advertising campaign to encourage vaccination.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-01-04/australia-unlikely-to-follow-opt-out-organ-donation-policy/8160718

France has become the latest country to introduce an opt-out approach to organ donation, but despite the calls of proponents, it seems unlikely Australia will follow suit.

The opt-out policy means people are presumed to be organ donors unless they officially register to opt out.

France joins a host of countries that have changed their laws to presume consent, including Spain, Austria, Belgium and Singapore.

But according to the Organ and Tissue Authority (OTA), Australia is unlikely to join that list.

So far in France, 150,000 of the country’s approximately 66 million citizens have registered to opt out.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-01-04/real-time-firearm-register-needed-to-reduce-gun-violence:-ama/8160588

The Australian Medical Association (AMA) is calling for a real-time national register for firearms so authorities can have a central point to access information, which it says will help reduce gun violence.

Dr Michael Gannon, the AMA president, said doctors were on the front line when someone was injured by a gun.

“It’s doctors who pick up the pieces whenever basic, sensible, evidence-based public health prevention measures don’t work.”

The AMA wants a national gun register to be established to supersede the current system, where states register firearms.

“In an ideal world you would never have a situation where a lethal firearm is in the hands of someone who shouldn’t own it,” Dr Gannon said.

“And the point about a real-time register is that it means that the different state and territory authorities are talking to each other and anyone who’s got any restriction on owning a firearm, that’s known instantly.”

Following the Port Arthur massacre in 1996, John Howard tried to bring in a national register.

But nearly 21 years later, it still has not happened.