Alice Springs community members celebrated Close the Gap Day at Congress’ Main Clinic Service on Thursday 17 March, in a demonstration of support for Aboriginal health equality.
Approximately 160 people attended the event engaging with local services working to prevent some of the leading causes of poor health and wellbeing typically faced by Aboriginal people in remote Australia.
Exhibiting and contributing agencies included; Northern Territory General Practice Education (NTPGE), NT Primary Health Network (NTPHN), Central Australian Remote Health Development Service (CARHDS), NT DoH Palliative Care, Central Australian Aboriginal Family Legal Unit (CAAFLU), Aboriginal Peak Organisation Northern Territory (APONT), Northern Territory Aids and Hepatitis Council, Lutheran Community Care and Centrelink.
“Close the Gap Day is a chance to celebrate the continued progress made in health, and to highlight areas of need to encourage a continued focus by government and community on closing the gap in life expectancy and improving the quality of life for Aboriginal people,” says Congress CEO, Donna Ah Chee.
“Closing the gap is the focus every day. Every day we work towards improving the allocation of existing resources according to need and greater longer term benefit, with the aim to address root causes especially in areas such as early childhood and maternal health as this will improve the quality of life for Aboriginal people in generations to come.
“Congress would like to extend its thanks to those local agencies and staff who participated in this event, and for their most valuable contributions to the day,” says Donna Ah Chee.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people can expect to live 10–16 years less than other Australians on average. Babies born to Aboriginal mothers here in the NT die at more than three times the rate of other Australian babies, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people experience much higher rates of preventable illness such as heart disease, kidney disease and diabetes.