This year, NAIDOC runs between July 8 and 15. NAIDOC celebrates the history, culture, and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. The theme of NAIDOC this year is Because of Her, We Can.

It’s an appropriate theme in a health context because so many of the rural and remote Aboriginal healthcare workers, doctors and nurses are women. The role of Aboriginal health workers is crucial to whether or not Aboriginal people in communities can access health services.

Keeping it in Community

An advantage of point of care diagnostics is that Aboriginal communities, and even the most remote Aboriginal Medical Services, can provide diabetes and prediabetes screening and care within their communities.

One organisation making real headway is Unity of First People of Australia tackling diabetes in the Kimberley region of Western Australia.

The Noonkanbah Station is a remote Aboriginal community with no full-time doctor or nurse. The 300 residents can gain access to health care through the UFPA’s screening program Health Assessment Days.

An Australian study across six Aboriginal communities in Northern Territory found that point of care testing in remote settings provides not only clinical benefits.  It also found, “potential to save over $100 million per year.”

Given that many Aboriginal communities are in remote locations, point-of-care testing seems obvious. With modern devices, a healthcare practitioner in the community can be trained to conduct multiple tests in one location and deliver real-time results and appropriate care.

Devices for Diabetes Screening

There are a number of analysers on the market which can be used to screen for diabetes and prediabetes.

One of these is the A1cNow device, a battery-operated handheld analyser used with test strips. The device displays clear instructions and no training is necessary. The device enables patient-centred care in remote settings.

Image courtesy of WHealth

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