Conference presentations (published elsewhere)

Chronic Diseases Network Conference – Prevention is the best medicine

Posted on: 11 January, 2010
Issue: Vol 10 No 1, January 2010 - March 2010
Related to Cancer Cardiovascular health Diabetes Kidney health

The 13th Annual Chronic Diseases Network Conference was held 10-11 September 2009 in Darwin. The theme of the 2009 conference – Prevention is the Best Medicine, highlighted that to effectively deal with the epidemic of chronic diseases and their underlying risk factors, efforts must be focussed on prevention. In the Northern Territory the prevalence of chronic diseases in the non Aboriginal population is increasing at similar rates to the rest of Australia but amongst theAboriginal population the prevalence is very high. In terms of “Closing the Gap” for Indigenous Australians, 70% of the difference in life expectancy between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians can be attributed to chronic diseases. Chronic diseases are recognised as a key priority by the Federal Government, NT Government and the NT Department of Health and Families.

The keynote presentations were:

  • Professor Baum, F. Professor of Public Health, Flinders University, Taking practical action on social determinants of health: closing the gap by 2040.
  • Professor MacDonald, J. Professor of Primary Health Care, University of Western Sydney, Prevention of chronic disease: insights from the discussion document of the National Men’s Health Policy.
  • Dr Dollman, J. Division of Health Sciences, University of South Australia, Psychosocial and environmental influences on physical activity behaviours of Australian children.
  • Dr McCoy, B. NHMRC Fellow for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Research, La Trobe University, Indigenous men and chronic disease: can sport become more than a game and a preventative tool?
  • Dr Thomas, D. Indigenous Tobacco Control Research Program, Menzies School of Health Research, Improving Indigenous tobacco control and reducing Indigenous smoking.
  • Ms Meiklejohn, B. Lecturer, Faculty of Health, Queensland University of Technology, Education and training – a social determinants of health approach – holistic health education and vocational training to enable Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to manage and determine their future.
  • Professor Helen Keleher, Head, Department of Health Social Science, Monash University, Turning the key on health literacy to achieve better health outcomes.

The conference also highlighted that there is still a long way to go in the areas of health equity, empowerment and workforce development.

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