This page is dedicated to keeping our members connected and updated with the most current information and resources on COVID-19

IAHA want to inform the membership and stakeholders that we are committed to providing supports to the allied health workforce during these challenging and uncertain times.

There will be unprecedented pressures on the allied health workforce than ever before.

The rapidly evolving changes put in place to respond to the spread of cases of coronavirus (COVID -19) will change the way IAHA do things and the ways that IAHA can support the allied health workforce.

IAHA are holding regular communications to keep up to date with the rapidly changing environment, so that IAHA can assist the allied health workforce as quickly as possible. IAHA are currently developing a comprehensive stepped out strategy to support the allied health membership including an IAHA COIVD-19 Advisory Group, yarning sessions to keep members connected and collaboration with our partner organisations.

Australia will be facing some difficult times ahead, but the IAHA membership has remarkable levels of resilience, spirit and commitment and we will continue to support each other.

NOVEL CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) SUPPORT: If you feel unwell and think you may have symptoms of COVID-19 please contact Health Direct Helpline on 1800 022 222 (FREE CALL) and speak with registered nurses who are available 24 hours, 7 days a week. For the latest information on COVID – 19 please visit the Department of Health COVID-19

 

See the links below for the most current information and resources:

COVID-19 Resources for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Professionals

To assist our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Workforce IAHA has collaborated on a project led by NATSIHWA with AIDA, IAHA and CATSINaM to develop a resource toolkit that includes posters on important contacts, tips and information to help you care for yourself, as well as for distribution in your communities.

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Professionals Resource Toolkit is available now and can be downloaded here. To avoid a second wave of COVID-19 we all have to continue to be cautious and vigilant.  As Health Professionals it is important that you keep yourself informed and understand what you need to do in case of an outbreak. 
 
We are facing uncertain times. As we work collectively to control the spread of COVID-19, we know that our people are at a higher risk. Please look after yourselves and each other.

As the frontline Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander workforce it is important you know how to protect and care for yourself, your families and our communities. We all need to do things differently. People’s lives are at risk. Everybody needs to know the signs or symptoms and how to keep each other safe. In particular, care must be taken around the elderly and those with chronic health conditions – they are most at risk.

We have never been in a situation like this before and it is changing all the time. Over the coming weeks your regular roles may change dramatically and you may be faced with additional demands. You will need to take particular care of your own physical, cultural, spiritual, mental, social and emotional wellbeing.

We have put this pack together to assist and support you in this changing environment. It includes tips and information to help you care for yourself, as well as resources for distribution in your communities. To make sure you are getting the most up to date and correct information we will continue to publishing links, resources and information on our websites, social media pages and newsletters.

The official Australian Government website is a good source of information. They have also developed an online COVID-19 infection control training module and we would encourage you all to do the training. Another good source of collated information from primary sources is the Indigenous HealthInfoNet COIVD19 portal.

To protect against infection and prevent the virus spreading everyone must practice good hygiene, physical distancing and self-isolation when required. As a general rule the hygiene procedures that you apply in the clinic or your workplace should also be applied at home.

We acknowledge and thank you for the work that you do. Please stay safe.
The teams at: IAHA, NATSIHWA, CATSINaM, and AIDA. 

IAHA Influenza Vaccination Factsheet

For the information of members, IAHA have prepared a factsheet on influenza vaccinations.

Covering some of the benefits of flu vaccine programs, information on the vaccine itself, and other background of relevance to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health workforce, the factsheet is intended to support informed decision making, particularly in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

DOWNLOAD the factsheet.

IAHA COVID-19 Support and Response strategy

The COVID-19 pandemic is having a clear effect on the membership of Indigenous Allied Health Australia (IAHA). As the membership body for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander allied health workforce, Indigenous Allied Health Australia (IAHA) play an important role in supporting members, even more so in the current environment.

This document identifies some strategies and action IAHA are taking in order to support members in the short, medium and longer term. The sections below explore some of the themes, issues and opportunities for IAHA, including some of the existing efforts as of May 2020, and some areas which may require new or additional focus. These have been collated under broad themes, but are often linked.

You can read the document here: IAHA COVID-19 Support and Response strategy

The use of masks in non-clinical settings during COVID-19. A factsheet for IAHA members

The use of masks in non-clinical settings during COVID-19. A factsheet for IAHA members


Introduction

In early June 2020, the World Health Organisation (WHO) amended their advice on the use of masks to recommended that “to prevent COVID-19 transmission effectively in areas of community transmission, governments should encourage the general public to wear masks in specific situations and settings as part of a comprehensive approach to suppress SARS-CoV-2 transmission.”1

This advice has been reflected in the actions and advice of governments here in Australia, with several jurisdictions recommending the use of masks and the mandate to wear masks in public in areas of Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire.

Why are masks recommended?

One of the main reasons to wear masks is to protect others and minimise the spread of the virus.

There is enough evidence to suggest that the virus can be spread by both pre- symptomatic and asymptomatic people (i.e. before people show symptoms and people who are positive for the virus without displaying symptoms). There are also examples where the use of masks appear to have reduced transmission.

It is important to note that, per the World Health Organisation’s advice, that the use of masks is one of a number of strategies to reduce transmission of the coronavirus.

The use of masks does not replace other precautionary measures such as good hygiene and physical distancing, and it is important that these continue to happen.

When do I use my mask?

You should firstly follow the relevant public health advice and requirements in your jurisdiction. The National Indigenous Australians Agency’s COVID-19 page provides links to each of the state and territory websites which will have the most up to date information.

It is generally recommended that the public consider the use of masks in situations and settings where physical distancing cannot be practiced (or guaranteed) such as public transport, grocery stores, at work, social gatherings, mass gatherings and closed settings, including schools.

https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public/when-and-how-to-use- masks&publication=advice-on-the-use-of-masks-in-the-community-during-home-care-and-in-healthcare- settings-in-the-context-of-the-novel-coronavirus-(2019-ncov)-outbreak

How do I use my mask?

It is recommended, when using a reusable non-medical mask, that you:

  • wash your hands before you apply the mask, visually inspecting that it is clean and dry, and using the straps to handle the mask.
  • place the straps behind your head or ears, ensuring that the mask covers you nose, mouth and chin. Avoid touching your mask as you wear it.
  • remove the mask with clean hands, use the straps to remove the mask without touching the front of the mask.
  • Move the mask away from your face, place in a clean, sealable bag, and again clean your hands.

Other Resources

This video from the World Health Organisation provides easy to follow instructions and may be valuable to assist children, family, friends and clients to use fabric masks effectively.

In addition to the poster above, the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services has posters available on the use of masks and how to make a cloth mask, which you may wish to display or share. These can be accessed here and here respectively.

Disclaimer: Please note the information provided above is accurate at time of publication and to the best knowledge of Indigenous Allied Health Australia. In no way is the information intended to be applied to clinical settings

DOWNLOAD PDF: IAHA information sheet on the use of non-medical masks

NACCHO & Affiliates

Follow NACCHOMEDIA Health News Alerts for the most current trending media. Sign up for the newsletter for direct email notifications which you can find HERE or go directly to the dedicated  CORONA-19 health alert page HERE

Gayaa Dhuwi (Proud Spirit) Australia

Gayaa Dhuwi (Proud Spirit) Australia

Established in late March 2020, Gayaa Dhuwi (Proud Spirit) Australia is the new Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (Indigenous) social and emotional wellbeing, mental health and suicide prevention national leadership body. It is governed and controlled by Indigenous experts and peak bodies working in these areas, promoting collective excellence in mental health care.

Staying healthy and strong during the coronavirus outbreak

 Download a copy of the advice on this page
 Download a shorter version of this advice

Gayaa Dhuwi (Proud Spirit) Australia acknowledges and pays respect to Elders, both past and present and all generations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples now and into the future as the Traditional Owners of this land.

We are all feeling worried and stressed about the coronavirus. Our lives are changing in many ways, and we have to prepare ourselves. Life won’t be the same until the virus is under control, but with the right information and a sensible approach, the road ahead can be easier and less stressful. To stay mentally strong, here are some tips and resources from the WEBSITE. 

 

Indigenous HealthinfoNet

COVID-19 Updates and Information

This section is designed to keep you updated with the latest information available on Coronavirus (COVID-19). The Australian Government Department of Health are monitoring the outbreak and provide updates as they become available.

The Australian health sector emergency response plan for novel coronavirus (COVID-19) guides the Australian health sector response.

The Response plan is a living document and is updated as required. There is a Coronavirus Australia app to help you stay up to date with the latest information on COVID-19.

There are Temporary telehealth medicare bulk-billed items for COVID-19 for health professionals.

Visit HealthInfoNet HERE.

Australian Government Department of Health

 The Department of Health is now running regular webinars on COVID-19. The upcoming webinars for this week are:

Response update for mental health practitioners on 1 April from 11:00am to 11:30am AEDT

Allied Health Professional webinar on 2 April 2020, from 11:30pm to 12:10pm AEDT

GP webinar on 2 April 2020, 1pm to 1:30pm AEDT.

More information is available at the following link:

https://www.health.gov.au/…/webinars-on-the-coronavirus-cov…

In addition, the fact sheet related to COVID-19 telehealth items for allied health has been updated. See the latest version by clicking the link below:

http://www.mbsonline.gov.au/…/publ…/Content/Factsheet-TempBB

Latest Media releases

20th April 2020 $52m injection for rural COVID-19 aeromedical retrievals

Read here

Coronavirus (COVID-19) resources for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and remote communities

Rural and Remote Health

World first rapid COVID-19 testing to protect Aboriginal & Torres Strait islander Communities.

Minister for Health, Greg Hunt, says the Australian Government is investing $3.3 million to establish a rapid coronavirus (COVID-19) Remote Point of Care Testing Program for remote and rural Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. Under the program, people will benefit from testing times being cut to around 45 minutes.  Read more here

$3M to boost the national coordinate COVID-19 research response

The Australian Government will provide a further $3 million to support frontline health workers with training and information which will support the treatment of patients with coronavirus.  $1 million in funding from the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) will transform the treatment and management of patients with severe coronavirus, delivering better patient outcomes.  Read more here.

Regional COVID-19 Respiratory clinic opens in Wagga Wagga

The first rural GP-led COVID-19 respiratory clinic in New South Wales officially opened today at Wagga Wagga’s Glenrock Country Practice. Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development and Federal Member for Riverina Michael McCormack said the new respiratory clinic, assembled at Dr Ayman Shenouda’s practice, was part of the Australian Government’s $2.4 billion health package to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak.  Read more here.

Rural Health Round up report here

 

Cancer Australia

Cancer Australia is today launching a dedicated hub providing coronavirus (COVID-19) information for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders with cancer.

People with cancer are more likely to pick up a cold, flu or virus, which can cause complications because they have weakened immune systems. COVID-19 is one of those infections that can be harmful to people with weakened immune systems.

The new website hub Cancer and COVID-19 – what it means for our Mob provides helpful advice, tips and links for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with cancer to help protect them by practising social distancing precautions and good hygiene practices.

Read more here:

National Indigenous Australians Agency

Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a serious illness and it is spreading in Australia, putting people such as the elderly and those with existing medical conditions at increased risk.

All Australian governments are working together to slow the spread of the virus and keep all Australians safe.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities are a priority in the Federal Government’s COVID-19 Emergency Response Plan. At the Federal level, the Department of Health is the lead Commonwealth Agency on the health related aspects of COVID-19, with the NIAA supporting this effort.

NIAA has an important role to play in the broader efforts to reduce the impacts of the virus on Indigenous Australians. The Agency is coordinating with a range of Commonwealth, State and Territory Departments and Agencies to protect against the serious threat to Indigenous Australians, with an immediate focus on those in remote areas.

Read more here

Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Strategy Group consists of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health sector leaders and representatives from accreditation entities, National Boards, AHPRA and the Chair of AHPRA’s Agency Management Committee.

Co-Chaired by Mr Karl Briscoe, CEO of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Worker Association, and Julie Brayshaw, Chair of the Occupational Therapy Board of Australia, this group provides advice on how best to develop the National Scheme’s strategy, and define its role, in ensuring patient safety for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples in Australia’s health system. The group’s agreed vision is: Patient safety for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples in Australia’s health system is the norm, as defined by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.  Read more here.

AHPRA response to COVID-19 Read here.

Telehealth Guidance for Practitioners

ACT Health Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander COVID-19 Resources

Download a range of COVID-19 resources developed by ACT Health for the ACT Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community.

These key messages are focussed on staying healthy during periods of extended isolation and promotion of testing sites.

The Health Emergency Coordination Centre partnered with the NSW Aboriginal Health and Medical Research Council to customise content from their COVID-19 communication materials. The Health Partnerships team were consulted throughout the process, to ensure the messages are culturally appropriate and impactful for the ACT community.

These resources are being circulated broadly within ACT Government Directorates and Community Organisations.

COVID Access testing Final 

COVID Booklet A4 Final 

COVID Elders Final

COVID Iso Checklist Final

COVID MH&W