Tra­choma break­through wins award

Pilbara News - - News - Tom Zaun­mayr

A pro­gram which has cut the in­ci­dence of tra­choma among Abo­rig­i­nal peo­ple in re­mote com­mu­ni­ties has won top hon­ours at the WA Health Ex­cel­lence Awards.

The WA Coun­try Health Ser­vice-led State Tra­choma Pro­gram won the award for achiev­ing bet­ter out­comes for Abo­rig­i­nal peo­ple and was also cho­sen as the over­all win­ner and direc­tor-gen­eral’s award.

Department of Health direc­tor-gen­eral David Rus­sell-Weisz said the tra­choma screen­ing pro­gram aimed to wipe out an in­fec­tious eye dis­ease which led to blind­ness.

“It has suc­cess­fully re­duced the rates of tra­choma in­fec­tion in ru­ral and re­mote Abo­rig­i­nal com­mu­ni­ties from 24 per cent in 2006 to 2.6 per­cent in 2015,” he said.

“Not only has this pro­gram been in­cred­i­bly suc­cess­ful, it also ex­em­pli­fies how col­lab­o­ra­tion among health ser­vices and a com­mit­ment to com­mu­nity con­sul­ta­tion can re­sult in ex­cel­lent par­tic­i­pa­tion in an im­por­tant health ini­tia­tive.

“The pro­gram is on track to com­pletely elim­i­nate the in­fec­tion in WA Abo­rig­i­nal com­mu­ni­ties by 2020.”

WACHS Pil­bara Pop­u­la­tion Health direc­tor Mar­garet Aber­nethy said the awards were due recog­ni­tion for the work un­der­taken by WACHS and Abo­rig­i­nal med­i­cal ser­vices in the Pil­bara.

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