Aboriginal communities are often disproportionately affected by pandemic influenza (and with seasonal influenza) due to the higher prevalence of people at high risk of influenza complications.
Pandemic influenza planning requires partnerships with Aboriginal people and their communities to develop effective and culturally acceptable strategies for reducing the risk of pandemic influenza.
Pandemic Preparedness and Response with Aboriginal Communities in NSW (GL2019_009)This Guideline outlines the strategies that LHDs are expected to consider when planning services for Aboriginal people in partnership with Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services in preparation and response to an influenza pandemic in NSW.
Key considerations when developing pandemic services for Aboriginal communities include:
Sharing information is more effective if it is ‘localised, personalised and humourised’. Information for local communities should be shared through local community networks, using local language. This engages local people to share the information in a way that makes sense to their community (their colours, their people, their logos); and using humour that attracts attention in communities
Health messages need to be negotiated respectfully and sensitively with an understanding of family and community ways, and should avoid conflict with the advice of respected sources of health advice in the community.
Providing additional infection control resources such as tissues and hand disinfectants:
Tailoring health services so that people can be treated in the context of their families and community groups, rather than just as individuals.
Supporting Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services to participate actively in the pandemic response, such as through providing influenza clinics during influenza outbreaks run by Aboriginal Health Workers.
Improving transport to health services or providing outreach services to allow access to earlier diagnosis and treatment.
NSW Health. NSW Health Influenza Pandemic Plan (health sector)
NSW Government. NSW Human Influenza Pandemic Plan (whole of Government)
NSW Health Influenza and Aboriginal people