National Close the Gap Day 2016

We live in a relatively wealthy, clean and safe country, but in our backyard is a health problem that many are unaware of.
 
The fact is, Indigenous Australians don't receive the same level of healthcare as other Australians. We can't let this gap continue in a progressive and fair society. 

Did you know:
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander can expect to live substantially shorter lives than other Australians (on average 10 to 17 years less).
  • Babies born to Aboriginal mothers die at twice the rate of other Australian babies.
  • Indigenous Australians are six times more likely to go blind than the rest of the population. 
  • 35% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults have never had an eye exam. This is despite 94% of vision loss among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults being preventable or treatable.
Find out more about the Indigenous health disadvantage in Australia. 
 
What is National Close the Gap Day?
National Close the Gap Day is Australia’s largest Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health campaign.

It’s an initiative to encourage community support and raise awareness about the unacceptable health inequality that Indigenous Australians experience. 
 
At The Fred Hollows Foundation, much of our work focuses on eye health in Indigenous communities. But if widespread change is to take effect, then we all need to spread awareness and take action.
 
Why is there so much inequality?
The reasons for the gap are layered and complex. Indigenous Australians have faced and continue to face racism and discrimination, and they experience lower levels of education and higher levels of unemployment. 

Many remote Aboriginal communities don't have access to healthcare, and our health system doesn't always take in to account the cultural sensitivities and needs of the Indigenous Australians. 

What can you do?
Last year, 150,000 Australians participated in 1596 Close the Gap events across the country.
If you can't attend an event, then there's still plenty you can do:
 
  •  'Like' the Close the Gap Facebook page and see if there's anything happening you'd like to be involved with- Spread awareness and tell your family and friends about the current state of health for Indigenous Australians. 
  • Join over 180,000 other Australians and sign the pledge to Close the Gap. 
  • Write to the Minister or your local MP and tell them you want to see equal health outcomes for Indigenous Australians. 
Let's be part of the generation that makes a change and Closes the Gap for good.
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