Deadly Choices Brisbane Northside

Deadly Choices is a government campaign (in Brisbane) aimed at indigenous Australians to have regular monitoring with their local GP to promote the best health outcomes.  There has been an alarming number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people that acquire chronic diseases because of poor diet, physical inactivity, smoking, and obesity. These individuals also have low access to primary health care services and health education. As a result, these individuals are at greater risk on health issues.

Deadly Choices is an initiative of the Institute for Urban Indigenous Health (IUIH) in South East Queensland. This is a program that aims to educate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people on prevention of chronic diseases and informing them of its risk factors. Apart from that, they are also informed of the effects of poor lifestyle and harmful substances and encourage them to make healthy choices.

The Health Condition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People

Chronic diseases are acquired by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People primarily because of lack of access to primary health care services. Some of the most chronic diseases present in their community are cardiovascular disease, diabetes, respiratory issues, and kidney disease. Early diagnosis is an important factor in addressing illnesses, especially the chronic ones since treatment can be administered to patients right away.

Based on the research of Lowitja Institute, there are several factors that contribute to poor access to health care services such as ease of access, racism and discrimination, cultural difference, and finances.


The Deadly Choices Initiative Implementation

The Deadly Choices initiative has school-based and community-based programs that runs for seven weeks. The program covers modules on leadership, chronic diseases, physical activity, nutrition, smoking, harmful substances and health services. The school-based program is focused on strengthening the cultural assets and promoting a healthy lifestyle among young individuals. Meanwhile, the community-based program encourages the adults to visit their local health service. These programs are designed for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to provide awareness and knowledge on chronic diseases and how they can be prevented. The programs run in conjunction with the health service provided in the community to ensure that the programs are sustainable.


The Effectiveness of Deadly Choices

With the intervention provided in the aboriginal community, Lowjita Institute’s research reveals that there is a significant improvement on the knowledge and attitudes of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People towards chronic diseases and their risk factors. Behavioural attitudes towards smoking and soda-drinking also decreased over time. The research also found out that individuals are also eating their breakfast more often, seek doctor check-ups, and perform physical daily exercises after attending the Deadly Choice program.

At Ubuntu Medial, we also do Men’s Health