Baby born with “avoidable” congenital syphilis: experts

InDaily, June 04, 2020

The recent birth of a child in South Australia with congenital syphilis, despite the mother being previously diagnosed and treated for the sexually transmitted infection, has prompted SA Health concern about the quality of the treatment.

[A] public health alert [sent by SA Health] “reminds and advises health practitioners of their responsibilities” in managing syphilis cases and contacts.

General practitioner at not-for-profit sexual health service SHINE SA Amy Moten said the case was “significant” because it was an avoidable outcome.

New ‘Syphilis Is Still Out There’ Campaign for Health Professionals

The Aboriginal Health Council of South Australia (AHCSA) & SHINE SA, May 2020

The Aboriginal Health Council of South Australia (AHCSA) and SHINE SA have released a new social media campaign for health professionals.

The campaign aims to raise awareness of syphilis screening and treatment during COVID-19.

  • Syphilis Is Still Out There Campaign for Health Professionals

While we deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, the syphilis outbreak in South Australia continues. It’s essential that we continue to test, treat, cure and notify partners during this time.

To learn more visit www.shinesa.org.au/syphilisoutbreak

  • Social Media Tiles and Posters

To help support this campaign and reinforce key messages around syphilis prevention and treatment, we have a range of social media tiles and posters to download.

Help us share this campaign by downloading our social media tiles to share on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn. Use the hashtag #SyphilisIsStillOutThere

Download the files here as a zipped folder: Syphilis Is Still Out There Campaign

Key Messages of this Campaign 

  • Syphilis is still out there #SyphilisIsStillOutThere
  • Syphilis outbreak minimised in 4 steps: test, treat, cure and notify partners
  • Syphilis is still threatening unborn children. Know when to test before, during and after pregnancy

  • For the Community

Stay tuned: whilst this campaign is aimed at health professionals, AHCSA are currently producing resources to share on social media targeted towards community members.

To stay up-to-date follow AHCSA on Facebook.

 

Embracing Community this International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Intersexism and Transphobia (Media Release)

SHINE SA Media Release: 15 May 2020

International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Intersexism and Transphobia recognises the strength and community spirit of LGBTIQA+ people, allows for broader community support, while at the same time acknowledging the stigma, discrimination and violence faced by LGBTIQA+ individuals.

A sense of community can contribute to self-worth and acceptance as well as address isolation. A safe and welcoming community for LGBTIQA+ people provides essential support. This is especially true given that sexuality, gender identity and intersex status aren’t necessarily visible. Having a community provides a voice to ensure that LGBTIQA+ people’s needs and concerns are being heard.

In this time of social distancing for all of us, it’s more important than ever to maintain a sense of community. For many LGBTIQA+ people the current environment makes it difficult to physically connect with their communities, which is especially important if individuals are in isolation with unsupportive people.

For those that identify as LGBTIQA+, there are many groups and spaces available to stay connected with communities in South Australia. Some of the online spaces and services include:

  • qsOnline, a discord based social space for LGBTQIA+ people ran by The Queer Society. It has a range of different channels allowing people to talk about any and all of their interests.
  • Trans Femme SHINE SA and TransMascSA, private Facebook groups for transgender people to socialize and discuss their personal experience.
  • Moolagoo Mob & Blak Lemons, a social space for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who identify as LGBTIQA+, including sistergirls and brotherboys.
  • SHINE SA’s Gender Wellbeing Service and Gender Connect Country SA provide free peer-based support over the phone and can help provide connections through groups and other safe spaces for those that identify as trans, gender diverse or gender questioning.

Awareness and support for LGBTIQA+ people should also extend into our workplace. LGBTIQA+ training is key to providing an inclusive workplace, to learn more you can visit SHINE SA’s LGBTI Inclusion Training page.

SHINE SA celebrates International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Intersexism and Transphobia and recognises the particular strengths LGBTIQA+ people bring to all of our communities.

For further information and media enquiries contact Tracey Hutt, Director Workforce Education and Development 

 

Situational Report: Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights in Australia

Marie Stopes Australia, Updated 17 April 2020

Situational Report: Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights in Australia – A request for collaboration and action to maintain contraceptive and abortion care throughout the SARS-COV-2 / COVID-19 pandemic

Executive Summary

We are in a context of increased risk of unplanned pregnancy, reproductive coercion, sexually transmitted infections, lack of pregnancy options and a multitude of barriers to healthcare. Access to contraception and abortion throughout the pandemic will mitigate broader public health risks for years to come. 
.
At Marie Stopes Australia, during the pandemic we have had to:

 Cancel surgical abortion care lists- meaning women and pregnant people have had to continue with their pregnancies or are likely to seek a termination at a later gestation
 Reduce our national gestational limit for surgical abortion to 22 weeks
 Face increased costs in the provision of regional healthcare, having no other option than to charter private flights for clinical staff
 Continuously scramble for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
 Reduce in-clinic list capacity to enable physical distancing
 Reduce contraceptive services in order to prioritise abortion access
 Reduce financial support for clients experiencing financial hardship
 Face increased risk of staff fatigue and burn out
 Evolve models of care in an effort to maintain access to care. To address this situation, we need to review legislation and policy, evolve models of care, maintain people’s rights to access care and make healthcare more affordable.

Key recommendations at this point in the pandemic include:
 All Governments, health and hospital services, and health clinics must consider abortion an essential service with Category 1 classification
 Provide access to medical abortion via telehealth for people living in South Australia
 Increase medical abortion provision to 70 days/10 weeks gestation, supported by the  Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS)
 All accredited sexual and reproductive healthcare providers should have access to the National Medical Stockpile for PPE
 Intrastate travel support is needed for clinical staff in order to maintain surgical abortion provision in regional and remote clinics
 Do not criminalise women and pregnant people who attempt unsafe abortion

[This report contains] further detail on these points and a longer list of recommendations that Australia will need to consider in o order to maintain sexual and reproductive health
rights throughout the pandemic.

 

 

Nurse Practitioner (s100) Prescribing Change

Hepatitis Australia, 3 April 2020

Hepatitis Australia warmly welcomes recent changes to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) allowing authorised Nurse Practitioners to prescribe hepatitis B and hepatitis C medicines under the Highly Specialised Drugs (s100) Program.

Both hepatitis B and hepatitis C are under-treated and without improvement in a range of areas Australia risks falling short of agreed national and global viral hepatitis elimination goals. Expanded access to timely treatment and care is a critical component of the national response.

This important development acknowledges the clinical expertise of Nurse Practitioners and the therapeutic relationships they develop and maintain with highly stigmatised and often vulnerable populations.

Under previous arrangements, authorised Nurse Practitioners were able to prescribe treatments for hepatitis B and hepatitis C under the PBS General Schedule (s85). Where Nurse Practitioners were available in primary care services, this arrangement enhanced access to antiviral therapies in community settings.

From 1 April 2020, authorised Nurse Practitioners are also able to prescribe hepatitis B and hepatitis C treatments under the Highly Specialised Drugs (s100) Program. This matters because some people are not able to access primary care settings. The change therefore improves the availability of treatment for vulnerable populations such as people living in remote and regional areas, people experiencing homelessness, and people in custodial settings.

Hepatitis Australia congratulates the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee for recommending this important change, and we thank our colleagues at ASHM (Australasian Society for HIV, Viral Hepatitis and Sexual Health Medicine) for their leadership in this matter.

Community members in need of more information about hepatitis B and hepatitis C may wish to contact 1800 437 222 (1800 HEP ABC). This National Hepatitis Infoline directs callers to the community-based hepatitis organisation in the relevant state or territory.

ASHM’s “Find a Prescriber” function helps community members find a Doctor or Nurse Practitioner who has attended ASHM’s hepatitis training. People can also speak to their GP about treatment.

https://ashm.org.au/news/pbac-endorse-np-prescribing-for-hepatitis-b-hepatitis-c-and-hiv-medicines/

and

http://www.pbs.gov.au/info/news/2020/04/authorised-nurse-practitioners-now-eligible-to-prescribe

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The above information was found here 

Women on temporary visas experiencing family violence face additional complex barriers to seeking help

inTouch Multicultural Centre Against Family Violence, March 11th, 2020

CEO of inTouch, Ms Michal Morris, today released a position paper on women on temporary visas who are experiencing family violence. The paper urges the government to implement eight recommendations in order to improve supports and services for these vulnerable women.

‘I believe that all women who experience family violence in Australia should have access to the full suite of support services and be safe. Visa status should not be a factor, nor should living in destitution. Today, the government is issuing more temporary visas than ever before. Because of this we are only going to see more women in need and more gaps in services’, said Ms Morris.