Mass-vaccination of Aboriginal people in regional, rural and remote communities of Northern NSW made possible by partnership of Aboriginal Health Organisations
Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations (ACCHOs) in New South Wales (NSW) delivering action and leadership for their communities by partnering with essential organisations to upscale the vaccine rollout in ‘hard to reach’ Aboriginal communities.
Bulgarr Ngaru Medical Aboriginal Corporation, Bullinah Aboriginal Health Service and Rekindle the Spirit have been working in partnership with NSW Police, Northern NSW Local Health District, Australian Defence Force, National Indigenous Australians Agency, Aboriginal Affairs NSW and NSW Aboriginal Lands Council. The partnership will provide a coordinated approach to the mass vaccination of 11 Aboriginal communities in rural and remote areas in Northern NSW.
The partnership approach between the ACCHOs and the Norther NSW LHD has previously been used to address low levels of Influenza Vaccination with highly successful outcomes.
“In our consultations, all of the communities have indicated that they would prefer to be vaccinated in their community rather than traveling to our clinics. We are working together to make this happen so that we can vaccinate our communities in ways that are culturally and clinically safe” said Mr Scott Monaghan, CEO of Bulgarr Ngaru Medical Aboriginal Corporation.
“The AH&MRC is proud to support this partnership by advocating for increased supply of vaccines into this area. We know our members are best placed to vaccinate Aboriginal people and this partnership approach is known to work” said Jade Hansen, AH&MRC COVID Response Team.
The partnership and the increased vaccines come at a crucial moment; COVID-19 cases have been escalating dramatically in Western and Far Western NSW with devastating consequences. The vaccine rollout is fundamental in addressing the potentially severe health implications for communities in this region.
The partnership, in line with the principles of the new Closing the Gap National Agreement, is an approach led by the Coalition and Peaks under the leadership of CEO of the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO), Mrs Patricia Turner.
The AH&MRC is the Peak Body for Aboriginal Health in NSW. We represent the views and interests of 47 Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations.