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N S W Public Health Bull. 2010 Jan-Feb;21(1-2):26-9. doi: 10.1071/NB09040.

Responding to pandemic (H1N1) 2009 influenza in Aboriginal communities in NSW through collaboration between NSW Health and the Aboriginal community-controlled health sector.

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  • 1Centre for Aboriginal Health, NSW Department of Health.


As a vulnerable population, Aboriginal people in NSW were thought likely to be at more risk of serious illness from pandemic (H1N1) 2009 influenza than non-Aboriginal people. As such, the importance of consulting with Aboriginal people and communities was recognised early in the pandemic. This consultation was to enable key messages to be disseminated appropriately and to facilitate access to health care. Key stakeholders in the response were the NSW Department of Health, Area Health Services, the NSW Aboriginal Health and Medical Research Council, and Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services. Regular teleconferences between the key stakeholders facilitated the flow of information and assisted with the identification of issues. A consultation process between Hunter New England Area Health Service and six Aboriginal communities helped inform the development of resources as well as the planning and delivery of pandemic-related services. Aboriginal people were four times more likely to be admitted to hospital with pandemic (H1N1) 2009 influenza than non-Aboriginal people.

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