Trachoma breakthrough wins award
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.