12 October 2016

NSW Health today launched a series of short videos to help raise awareness of cardiovascular disease and the importance of early diagnosis and treatment for Aboriginal people.

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death among all Australians. Aboriginal people have a higher burden of cardiovascular disease and are more likely to die from it than non-Indigenous people.
NSW Health Chief Health Officer, Dr Kerry Chant, said an important aim of the videos is to help reduce the risk of premature death by supporting Aboriginal communities to recognise the warning signs of a heart attack and respond appropriately by calling an ambulance.
“The videos provide information on diagnosis and treatment in hospital and deliver important messages about recovering after a heart attack. The videos also talk about rheumatic heart disease, a rarer condition affecting young people which requires long-term treatment and monitoring,” Dr Chant said.
“In Australia, around one in four Aboriginal people aged over 18 years have some form of cardiovascular disease. So it is really important to raise awareness in communities about how to recognise warning signs, what to do in an emergency, and how to support family and friends living with a heart condition.”
The videos were developed through collaboration between the NSW Ministry of Health and a range of partners including the Better Cardiac Care Aboriginal Advisory Group, the Heart Foundation, NSW Ambulance and clinicians from Aboriginal Medical Services and Local Health Districts.
Chair of the NSW Better Cardiac Care Aboriginal Advisory Group, Mr Jamie Newman, said the videos resonate with Aboriginal people, with well-known Aboriginal actors enacting common scenarios that any family could experience, to convey messages effectively about how to recognise and respond to heart attacks and prevent heart disease.
“We’re encouraging all community members and health workers to watch these videos and help spread the message among loved ones and the broader community,” Mr Newman said.
For more information go to: http://www.health.nsw.gov.au/aboriginal/bettercardiaccare/Pages/default.aspx​​​​