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Austalian Indigenous People and Their Traditional Medicines

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For thousands of years Indigenous peoples have been the guardians of our environment and its medicines. Their knowledge has been built on a holistic communal view of humanity, society, health and its links to the ecosystem. Sadly enough widely reported evidence shows that they are among the most marginalised and disadvantaged people within many nations. Often their environment was destroyed, land appropriated and they have the worst health indicators(1). The World Health Organisation argues that their crisis situation is: ‘most clearly reflected in the health status of indigenous peoples around the world, with disparities between the health status of indigenous peoples and non-indigenous peoples within the same country’(2). This accounts in particular for Australia’s Indigenous people (further in this paper referred with the term Aboriginal)(see box 1), who live in average shorter than many other people in the world, but also shorter than the Indigenous peoples of Canada, the United States and the Maori of New Zealand (3).
Estimated life expectancy among Australian Aboriginal males is only 67.2 years. This is 11.5 years lower that the non-Indigenous Australian male life expectancy. For females the difference is 9.7 years. In some states the difference is even larger. Life expectancy is lowest is in the Northern Territory, with a Aboriginal male life expectancy of 61.5 years with a difference of 14.2 years compared with non-Indigenous males.(4)(5) The disease contributing most to this excess in mortality is Cardiovascular disease (CVD), which accounts for 27% of all aboriginal deaths.(4) Looking at Disability-Adjusted Life Years (DALYs) , Ischaemic heart disease (IHD) is the biggest contributor to the Aboriginal healthgap with...

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...al, social and emotional health and wellbeing.(40,48)

The aim of this essay is to investigate and understand the most important determinants of health contributing to the high incidence of acute myocardial infarction among Indigenous Australians and to give recommendations to the Ministry of Health in order to diminish the difference with non-Indigenous Australians.

Discussion
Many important determinants of health contributing to the high incidence of acute myocardial infarction among Aboriginal people have been discussed. Most aboriginals suffer from different health disadvantages throughout their lives, starting from within the uterus, undernutrition during childhood, poverty, educational disadvantage
Looking beyond these social determinants brings you to the cultural aspects and their colonial history of intergenerational adversity and marginalisation
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