WA Govt: Healthway support to tackle Aboriginal health issues

/, Public news/WA Govt: Healthway support to tackle Aboriginal health issues
  • Healthway partnership to promote better health in Kimberley communities
  • $440,000 sponsorship supports young people to be Smarter than Smoking

Healthway’s partnership with the Kimberley-based Garnduwa Amboorny Wirnan Aboriginal Corporation will support the Smarter than Smoking Active Communities program, reaching more than 15,000 people in almost 40 communities across the region.

The program enables communities to plan, co-ordinate, and deliver their own tailor-made sport and recreation programs to suit local needs and health priorities, including encouraging people to quit, or not take up, smoking.

The Smarter than Smoking message is promoted and supported with smoke free environments at sport and recreation activities and venues, and last year more than 200 local people were involved in the development and management of the program.

Competition and development activities will be rolled out to communities through sports including basketball, football, netball, athletics and cricket.

The program also provides leadership and skills development in areas such as injury prevention, first aid and accreditation for local coaches and officials.

Smoking is an important health issue for Aboriginal people with 43 per cent daily smokers.

Aboriginal people are twice as likely to need hospital treatment for cardiovascular disease and 1.8 times more likely to die from cardiovascular disease compared with non-Aboriginal Australians.

Comments attributed to Health Minister Roger Cook:

“The Smarter than Smoking Active Communities program will give young Aboriginal people in the Kimberley an opportunity to learn new sporting skills and participate in regular competitions.

“The program will also build the capacity of communities to deliver local sport and recreation activities in smoke free environments and promote awareness of the health risks of smoking.

“I congratulate Garnduwa for developing this program and the State Government is proud to be able to support it through Healthway.

“By working together with Aboriginal people, wherever they live, we will help to reduce the harm caused by tobacco smoking.”