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You are here : 3-RX.com > Home > Pregnancy -

Too many Indigenous kids dying, AMA says

PregnancyAug 12, 05

The Australian Medical Association (AMA) says a survey showing an alarmingly high mortality rate among Indigenous children highlights the need for urgent antenatal care funding.

The National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Survey found a 3.2 per cent mortality rate among Indigenous children under the age of five.

The figure is almost five times higher than for children from other backgrounds.

AMA president Mukesh Haikerwal says offering greater care to Indigenous women through and after their pregnancies would help reduce mortality rates.

“I think what needs to be done is to put more effort into getting the antenatal care to make sure that the babies that are born are born to a decent weight and are born well, and that the kids through their early years and teenage years actually have good nutrition and good health to help them get into adulthood strong and healthy,” he said.

Dr Haikerwal says an antenatal program running in Canberra and Townsville for Indigenous women should serve as a model for the rest of the country.

“What we have to do is roll that out nationally and give it significant specific cash injection and people injection to make sure that we can deliver on this area,” he said.

“If we can get those early years right from before birth through to the early years of life, we’ve got a very good chance of improving the overall health outcomes.”

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