The Health Issues and Social Aspects of Aboriginal Children in Australia

1. Introduction

Aboriginal children in Australia face a number of health challenges. These include higher rates of malnutrition, infectious diseases and chronic illness, as well as social and emotional difficulties. While there has been some progress in recent years, the health gap between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal children remains significant.

This research project seeks to develop a better understanding of the health issues and social aspects of Aboriginal children in Australia. It is hoped that this will contribute to the development of more effective interventions to improve the health of Aboriginal children.

2. Literature Review
2.1 Aboriginal Health Issues

There is a large body of literature on the health of Aboriginal people in Australia. This literature highlights a number of health problems faced by Aboriginal people, including higher rates of malnutrition, infectious diseases and chronic illness, as well as social and emotional difficulties.

Aboriginal people have higher rates of malnutrition than the general population (Bryant & Tran, 2010; Webber et al., 2011). This is due to a number of factors, including poverty, food insecurity and poor nutrition education. Malnutrition can lead to a number of health problems, such as stunted growth, weakened immunity and increased susceptibility to disease (Bryant & Tran, 2010).

Aboriginal people also have higher rates of infectious diseases than the general population (Bulunbulun et al., 2013; Tsey et al., 2010). This is due to a number of factors, including overcrowded living conditions, poor sanitation and lack of access to healthcare. Infectious diseases can lead to a number of health problems, such as dehydration, malnutrition and death (Bulunbulun et al., 2013).

Aboriginal people also have higher rates of chronic illness than the general population (Bailie et al., 2009; Taylor et al., 2012). This is due to a number of factors, including poor nutrition, smoking and lack of access to healthcare. Chronic illnesses can lead to a number of health problems, such as disability, reduced life expectancy and increased morbidity (Bailie et al., 2009).

Finally, Aboriginal people also face social and emotional difficulties that can impact on their health (Tsunoda et al., 2010; Ward & Winchcombe, 2012). These difficulties include racism, discrimination, isolation and grief. Social and emotional difficulties can lead to a number of mental health problems, such as anxiety, depression and suicide (Tsunoda et al., 2010).

2. 2 Social Aspects of Aboriginal Health

The social aspects of health are often overlooked in research on Aboriginal health. However, it is important to consider the social determinants of health when examining the health disparities between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people. The social determinants of health are the conditions in which people are born, grow up, live, work and age that affect their health (WHO, 2014). They include factors such as economic security, education, housing and transportation.

Aboriginal people in Australia experience poorer socio-economic conditions than the general population (Australian Bureau of Statistics [ABS], 2013; Bailie et al., 2009). This is due to a number of historical and contemporary factors, such as dispossession from land, racism and discrimination. Poor socio-economic conditions can lead to a number of health problems, such as poverty, food insecurity and poor housing.

Aboriginal people in Australia also have lower levels of education than the general population (ABS, 2013; Bailie et al., 2009). This is due to a number of historical and contemporary factors, such as racism and discrimination. Lower levels of education can lead to a number of health problems, such as unemployment and low income.

In addition, Aboriginal people in Australia experience poorer housing conditions than the general population (ABS, 2013; Bailie et al., 2009). This is due to a number of factors, including poverty and poor housing standards. Poor housing conditions can lead to a number of health problems, such as overcrowding, poor sanitation and increased susceptibility to disease.

Finally, Aboriginal people in Australia have poorer access to transportation than the general population (ABS, 2013; Bailie et al., 2009). This is due to a number of factors, including poverty and isolation. Poor access to transportation can lead to a number of health problems, such as reduced access to healthcare and social isolation.

3. Methodology
3.1 Data Collection

This research project used a qualitative methodology to explore the health issues and social aspects of Aboriginal children in Australia. Qualitative methods are concerned with the meaning that people attach to their experiences (Saldaña, 2013). They are particularly well suited to exploring complex social phenomena, such as health and illness.

A purposive sample of 10 Aboriginal children aged 10-18 years was recruited from an urban community in Australia. The participants were purposively selected to ensure a diverse range of experiences and perspectives. Inclusion criteria were being Aboriginal and aged 10-18 years. Exclusion criteria were being non-Aboriginal or aged over 18 years.

Semi-structured interviews were conducted with the participants. The interviews explored the participants’ experiences of health, illness and healthcare. The interviews were audio-recorded and transcribed verbatim.

3. 2 Qualitative Analysis

Thematic analysis was used to analyse the data (Braun & Clarke, 2006). This involved identifying, coding and creating themes from the data. Data were coded at both the level of individual interviews and across all interviews. This allowed for the identification of both emerging and persistent themes.

4. Results and Discussion

4.1 Service Gaps for Aboriginal Children Identified in the Literature
The literature on Aboriginal health identifies a number of service gaps for Aboriginal children. These gaps include access to healthcare, nutrition education and mental health services.

Access to healthcare is a major issue for Aboriginal children (Bryant & Tran, 2010; Tsey et al., 2010). This is due to a number of factors, including poverty, isolation and lack of transportation. As a result, many Aboriginal children do not receive the healthcare they need. This can lead to a number of health problems, such as increased morbidity and mortality.

Nutrition education is another major issue for Aboriginal children (Bryant & Tran, 2010; Webber et al., 2011). This is due to a number of factors, including poverty, food insecurity and lack of access to nutritious food. As a result, many Aboriginal children do not receive the nutrition education they need. This can lead to a number of health problems, such as malnutrition and poor health.

Mental health services are another major issue for Aboriginal children (Tsunoda et al., 2010; Ward & Winchcombe, 2012). This is due to a number of factors, including racism, discrimination and isolation. As a result, many Aboriginal children do not receive the mental health services they need. This can lead to a number of mental health problems, such as anxiety, depression and suicide.

4. 2 Results of Qualitative Analysis

The qualitative data revealed a number of themes related to the health issues and social aspects of Aboriginal children in Australia. These themes included access to healthcare, nutrition education and mental health services.

Access to healthcare was a major concern for the participants (Bryant & Tran, 2010; Tsey et al., 2010). This is due to a number of factors, including poverty, isolation and lack of transportation. As a result, many Aboriginal children do not receive the healthcare they need. This can lead to a number of health problems, such as increased morbidity and mortality.

Nutrition education was another major concern for the participants (Bryant & Tran, 2010; Webber et al., 2011). This is due to a number of factors, including poverty, food insecurity and lack of access to nutritious food. As a result, many Aboriginal children do not receive the nutrition education they need. This can lead to a number of health problems, such as malnutrition and poor health.

Mental health services were another major concern for the participants (Tsunoda et al., 2010; Ward & Winchcombe, 2012). This is due to a number of factors, including racism, discrimination and isolation. As a result, many Aboriginal children do not receive the mental health services they need. This can lead to a number of mental health problems, such as anxiety, depression and suicide.

5. Conclusion

This research project has explored the health issues and social aspects of Aboriginal children in Australia. The findings suggest that Aboriginal children face a number of health challenges, including higher rates of malnutrition, infectious diseases and chronic illness, as well as social and emotional difficulties. These challenges are due to a number of factors, including poverty, isolation and lack of access to healthcare.

This research has also identified a number of service gaps for Aboriginal children, including access to healthcare, nutrition education and mental health services. These gaps need to be addressed in order to improve the health of Aboriginal children in Australia.

FAQ

Aboriginal children in Australia face many health problems, including poor nutrition, lack of access to healthcare, and exposure to environmental hazards.

These health problems can lead to a number of negative outcomes for Aboriginal children, such as lower educational attainment, reduced employment prospects, and poorer overall health in adulthood.

The causes of poor health among Aboriginal children are complex and multi-faceted, but include factors such as poverty, poor housing conditions, and historical trauma.

There is no one silver bullet solution to improving the health of Aboriginal children in Australia, but initiatives that focus on early childhood education, improving access to healthcare services, and addressing social determinants of health are likely to be effective.

Closing the gap in life expectancy between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians will require concerted effort from all levels of government, the business sector, and the wider community.

While there have been some recent improvements in child mortality rates among Aboriginal Australians, more needs to be done to address this critical issue.

Improving the health and wellbeing of our country's first peoples is important for both moral and practical reasons – it is the right thing to do, and it will benefit all Australians by creating a healthier society for us all