The Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet has prepared the Summary of respiratory diseases among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in support those in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander workforce and those participating in research and working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and their communities. The summary provides information on how common respiratory diseases are among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, the risk factors that contribute to respiratory diseases and relevant programs and strategies in place to reduce its impact on individuals and communities.
- There is not a lot of information on how often Aboriginal and Torres Strait children go to hospital for acute respiratory conditions. This is because the information on national and state/ territory hospitalisations combine all respiratory diseases together, and do not provide separate information for hospital visits for acute respiratory infections. Overall, though, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children go to the hospital more often for acute respiratory infections than non-Indigenous children do, regardless of where they live.
- Respiratory diseases are common among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people throughout different age-groups. 19% of 0-14 year-olds had a respiratory condition lasting more than 6 months in 2018- 2019.
- Indigenous babies less than a year old were 8.6 times more likely to die from a respiratory conditions than non-Indigenous babies.
- A lot can be done to reduce respiratory illnesses among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, such as making sure making sure vaccines are provided to mothers and children, including those for flu, whooping cough and pneumococcal diseases.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children should receive the best treatment for respiratory conditions. Key parts of effective treatment include early detection, cough management plans, good follow-up care, and making sure there are Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health professionals are available to assist with going to hosp[ital and providing health education to family members.