The Epidemiological Aspects of Aboriginal Health

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Introduction Over the course of history, the state of Aboriginal health has deteriorated in a relation much similar to the culture’s struggle to survive in the ever-changing society. As a result, this state has changed from an ideal balance with nature during the days of their hunter-gatherer lifestyle, to the more disoriented form of endurance in order to cope with obligatory integration and open antagonism by other ‘modern’ communities (Grbich, 2004). This has led to an augmentation of the encumbrance of illness and death as well as diverse forms of morbidity that Aboriginal communities experience throughout their lives. It is indeed ironical that while under the context of an organized and industrialized nation such as Australia, indigenous communities continue to face increased health problems even despite countrywide efforts at eradicating health risks thereby reducing mortality rates for children and adults alike as well as communicable and non-communicable morbidity indicators. Indigenous health problems are also noted to be a combination of third world-associated quandaries such as high rates of maternal and infant mortality as well as low life expectancy, malnutrition and other communicable diseases; as well as more ‘Western lifestyle’ health problems such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, drug and alcohol abuse, mental illness, and many others (Lewis, 2003). This paper therefore looks at the epidemiology of the state of health for the Aboriginal community, delving into the possible sociological reasons behind this increasingly deplorable condition. At the same time, a clearer perspective will be offered into the widening gap that is noted between the state of health for Aboriginal communities and that of other Au... ... middle of paper ... ...s Health: Public health in Australia, Greenwood Publishing Group, Sydney Lutschini, M 2005, ‘Engaging with holism in Australian Aboriginal health policy – a review’, Australia / New Zealand Health Policy, vol. 2, no. 15, Department of Public Health, University of Melbourne McGrath, P & Phillips, E 2008 ‘Western Notions of Informed Consent and Indigenous Cultures: Australian Findings at the Interface’, Journal of Bioethical Inquiry, vol. 5, no. 11, pp. 21-31 Thomas, RK 2003, Society and health: sociology for health professionals, Springer Publishers, New York Western, JS & Najman, JM 2000, A sociology of Australian society, Macmillan Education, Sydney White, K 2002, An Introduction to the Sociology of Health and Illness, Sage Publications: London Willis, E 2004, The Sociological Quest: an introduction to the study of social life (4th Ed), Allen & Unwin, Sydney

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