A Matter of life and death: Contemporary aboriginal by Alan (ed) Gray

By Alan (ed) Gray

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Additional resources for A Matter of life and death: Contemporary aboriginal mortality : proceedings of a workshop of the National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health ... July 1989

Example text

They are rarely undertaken in ignorance of the possible consequences. It is important to know what influences young people to set their priorities in the way they do. The practical steps that can be taken by health authorities include the following: 1. At the most immediate level, more treatment facilities could be supplied to cope with the consequences of the problem. This has been done in North Queensland where all pregnant Aboriginal women are brought to Cairns base hospital some time before their expected date of delivery.

SGA It was seen above that premature births are more likely with first births, or births of young mothers, so the question arises of the importance of these factors of low parity and young maternal age in these communities where there are high percentages of low birthweight babies. In Table 9 it can be seen that there is a wide range of proportions of births occurring to mothers under age 20 years, but the pattern is not consistent with the patterns of low birthweight. There is a narrow range of proportions of first and second births, but the pattern does fit rather better with the pattern of low birthweight.

CAUSES AND HEALTH POLICY IMPLICATIONS OF L 0 W BIRTHWEIGHTS OF ABORIGINAL CHILDREN Musgrave and Streatfield The birthweights of infants are important for two reasons. Clinically birthweight is one of the major determinants of the survival of the infant. Epidemiologically birthweight has been used as an indicator of the general health and welfare of the community. A health indicator should parallel some important health function and should change promptly when that function changes. To allow international comparisons, the indicator should be independent of ethnic background and to have practical value the underlying health function should be correctable.

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