Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Alienated Aborigines

Health standards among Australia's Aborigines are as poor as those among the white population before the advent of penicillin nearly a century ago, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Dr Jackson Pulver, from the Indigenous Health Unit of the University of New South Wales:-
"Indigenous babies born today can expect to live only as long as people in Australia 100 years ago. The Aboriginal people are dying at the same kind of rates that people did 100 years ago"

Aborigines still suffered from leprosy, tuberculosis and rheumatic heart disease, all of which were eradicated decades ago in other developed nations. Life expectancy among white Australians was 76.6 for men and 82 for women. In Aboriginal communities it was 59.4 for men and 64.8 for women. In some parts of New South Wales the average life expectancy for Aboriginal men was 33.

Dr Pulver goes on to explain:-
"It is acknowledged by the government that Aboriginal Australians have poorer health, educational, employment and social outcomes, however the solutions to address these issues have little to do with the underlying causes." These were "a combination of material deprivation and psycho-social stressors related to stress, alienation, discrimination and lack of control". and that she believes believes the after-effects of colonisation and injustices such as the forcible removal of Aboriginal children from their families were still having an impact. The factors included "people being alienated from their country, land, language and culture".

I think we can safely say that many of the indigenous peoples around the World face the same problems and suffer the same inequalities as Australia's Aboriginal peoples . At least 350 million people worldwide are considered to be indigenous. Most of them live in remote areas in the world. Indigenous peoples are divided into at least 5000 peoples ranging from the forest peoples of the Amazon to the tribal peoples of India and from the Inuit of the Arctic to the Aborigines in Australia.

No comments: