The Minister for Health, the Honourable Jillian Skinner, together with Nathan Merritt from the South Sydney Rabbitohs, Eunice Grimes from the Australian Womens Rugby League team and the Australian Rugby League officially launched the 'One Deadly Step' program in Sydney earlier today.
One Deadly Step is a partnership with NSW Health and the Australian Rugby League addressing chronic diseases in Aboriginal communities of NSW.
One Deadly Step aims to:
. Increase awareness of chronic diseases
. Promote prevention and management
. Early detection of chronic disease
. Timely referrals to specialists services
. Improve follow up of chronic disease
It involves a 12 step screening process that provides health checks, health referrals and follow ups for participants. The program uses the sporting platform of rugby league to engage local communities to participate.
Minister for Health, the Hon. Jillian Skinner was clearly happy with her departments association with the project.
"One Deadly Step is a program where indigenous people can help their own communities," the Minister said.
"Our department is very committed to assisting the indigenous communities of NSW and I feel this program and its relationship with rugby league role models is a great initiative.
"This is a great program and am very proud to be involved with it."
Over the next 12 months community events will be held in six locations around NSW that have been identified as having a large Aboriginal population that is prone to chronic diseases.
These events will be a collaboration with local Aboriginal Medical Services, Divisions of GP’s, Local Health Districts and other community organisations to ensure effective implementation in their area.
The events will be held at:
Campbelltown - Oct 2011
Wyong - Dec 2011
Kempsey - Feb 2012
Griffith - Mar 2012
Dubbo - Apr 2012
Redfern - May 2012
Nathan Merritt of the South Sydney Rabbitohs knows all too well of the health issues within indigenous communities.
"Diabetes and kidney disease are just some of the illnesses that affect many of our communities," he said.
"I have seen the affects of these diseases firsthand.
"By completing the 12 step health checks, we can learn to prevent diseases and manage our health and well being better."
To find out more about One Deadly Step, head to the NSW Health website www.health.nsw.gov.au