- State and federal health ministers say they are working on a solution to save the future of private home births in Australia. A Federal Government exemption allows midwives to deliver babies at home births while uninsured. That is due to expire in 2019.
- Australian researchers are examining whether interrupting prolonged sitting during pregnancy can improve blood sugar levels in mothers at risk of gestational diabetes..
- There is a large gap between vaccination rates for funded vaccines for adults in Australia and those for infants. More than 93% of infants are vaccinated in Australia, while in adults the rates are between 53-75%.
News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 2nd of September 2017. Read by Tabetha Moreto. Health News
State and federal health ministers say they are working on a solution to save the future of private home births in Australia. A Federal Government exemption allows midwives to deliver babies at home births while uninsured. That is due to expire in two thousand nineteen. Midwives are concerned it will become illegal for them to attend homebirths in two years’ time. Only one insurance company currently provides professional compensation to private midwives and even that product does not cover the actual labour at home births. Private midwives are stopping practice in droves due to a number of factors, leaving women determined to homebirth with fewer options.
Without the option of hiring private midwives for a home birth, some women are turning to unregulated birth workers, or even “freebirthing” — without any professional help. Homebirth midwives have told the ABC the situation is so serious, they are worried about being reported to medical watchdog the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) for transferring women to hospital if a home birth goes wrong. Once a private midwife takes a woman to hospital she has no official standing, and can only be present in a support capacity, often against the wishes of the woman who has employed her.
Sitting has been dubbed by many as ‘the new smoking’ because of the dangers associated with a sedentary lifestyle. For years public health experts have been campaigning for people to get off their backsides and include more activity in their lives to reduce high rates of obesity and chronic disease. Now Australian researchers are examining whether interrupting prolonged sitting during pregnancy can improve blood sugar levels in mothers at risk of gestational diabetes.
Research fellow Robyn Larsen at the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute says recent evidence suggests regular, brief two to three minute bouts of gentle walking can lower post meal blood sugar levels by twenty to thirty five percent when compared to prolonged sitting. Miss Larsen said that given that prolonged sitting is associated with elevated blood sugar levels, breaking up sitting among pregnant women could potentially be an additional intervention to reduce the rate of gestational diabetes. The rate of gestational diabetes is increasing in Australia. Recent estimates suggest the condition occurs in sixteen to twenty percent of pregnancies in Australia. It can lead to pregnancy complications, but of more concern is gestational diabetes being linked to long-term health risks for the mother. As part of the GLOW or Glucose Lowering effect Of Walking breaks during pregnancy study, participants will undergo the routine oral glucose tolerance test at twenty four to twenty eight weeks. The test will then be repeated a week later where the women will also be required to go for a light to moderate walk every twenty minutes.
Vaccines are one of the greatest public health achievements in history, having drastically reduced deaths and illness from infectious causes. There is a large gap between vaccination rates for funded vaccines for adults in Australia and those for infants. More than ninety three per cent of infants are vaccinated in Australia, while in adults the rates are between fifty three to seventy five percent. Much more needs to be done to prevent infections in adults, particularly those at risk.If you are an adult in Australia, the kinds of vaccines you need to get will depend on several factors, including whether you missed out on childhood vaccines, if you are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, your occupation, how old you are and whether you intend to go travelling. Children up to four years and aged ten to fifteen receive vaccines under the National Immunisation Schedule.
People born in Australia before nineteen sixty six likely have natural immunity to measles as the viruses were circulating widely prior to the vaccination program. People born after nineteen sixty five should have received two doses of a measles vaccine. Those who haven’t, or aren’t sure, can safely receive a vaccine to avoid infection and prevent transmission to babies too young to be vaccinated. Measles vaccine can be given as MMR measles-mumps-rubella or MMRV, which includes varicella or chickenpox.
Debate around immunisation focuses on ‘vaccine refusers’ but experts say we cannot ignore the other reasons children miss out on vaccines. Flu vaccine is matched every year to the anticipated circulating flu viruses and is quite effective. The vaccine covers four strains of influenza. Pregnant women are at increased risk of the flu and recommended for influenza vaccine any time during pregnancy. Health workers, childcare workers and aged-care workers are a priority for vaccination because they care for sick or vulnerable people in institutions at risk of outbreaks.