A Queensland Government grant has enabled more than 20 Aboriginal communities across the state access to vital life-saving equipment.
Funded through the Queensland Government Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation Gambling Community Benefit Fund, 20 portable automated defibrillators have been given to Community Controlled Health Organisations (CCHOs) for use within their organisations and at community events.
In welcoming the funding, Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Council Chief Executive Officer Matthew Cooke said the defibrillators had been issued to CCHOs from the Gold Coast to Cunnamulla, to Cherbourg, Mount Isa and as far north as Cairns.
“QAIHC, in cooperation with Central Queensland Regional Aboriginal and Islander Community Controlled Health (CQRAICCHO), applied for funding because heart, stroke and/or cardiovascular disease was high among the Aboriginal population,” Mr Cooke said.
“The Australian Bureau of Statistics’ latest figures show that one in five Indigenous people will suffer either heart, stroke and/or cardiovascular disease in their lifetime.”
Mr Cooke said the access to specialist acute coronary services within the CCHOs was limited, particularly in isolated communities, so the defibrillators would serve to enable timely response to patients suffering from cardiac arrest locally.
He said QAIHC was now working with St John Queensland to provide training to staff to use the equipment so they could be used at events and activities within Indigenous communities.
CCHOs to receive the defibrillators were: Wuchopperen in Cairns; Apunipima in Cape York; Mulungu in Mareeba; Mamu in Innisfail; TAIHS in Townsville; Gidgee Healing in Mountt Isa; Galangoor Duwalami in Hervey Bay; CRAICCHS in Cherbourg; Nhulundu in Gladstone; Goolburri in Toowoomba; Kalwun on the Gold Coast; Kambu in Ipswich; NCACCH on the Sunshine Coast; Girudala in Bowen; CACH in Cunnamulla; Carbal in Toowoomba; Mudth-Niyleta in Sarina; Injilinji in Mount Isa; Gurriny in Yarrabah; and Yulu Burri Ba on North Stradbroke Island.