$15m In Funding To Help Stop Tuberculosis

SA Gov

The Malinauskas Labor Government is investing $15.2 million to help eliminate the spread of tuberculosis (TB) in Aboriginal communities across the state as part of the 2024-25 State Budget.

The funding will help respond to current cases, providing these individuals and their contacts access to culturally informed health assessment, diagnosis and treatment, as well as ongoing care.

There will also be dedicated resources to work with Aboriginal communities, health care and support services to identify any new cases in the identified cluster areas, along with other parts of SA to ensure all Aboriginal communities can respond to tuberculosis if needed.

Since May 2022, there has been an increase in TB notifications impacting Aboriginal people with 24 notifications of active TB in the last two years.

Twenty-one of these cases are linked to four distinct genomic clusters located in the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands, Murraylands, northern Adelaide and central Adelaide.

There are an additional three individual active cases, unrelated to these four clusters.

As part of the response to these cases, almost 800 people have participated in screening to identify both additional active and latent cases of TB to enable treatment and further public health action to occur.

This latest three-year funding investment comes after the State Government committed a $1.9 million package last June to tackle a tuberculosis outbreak in the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands in 2023.

That funding delivered tailored community engagement and education, while upskilling health practitioners who may not have seen cases of tuberculosis in their clinical practice before.

New cases of tuberculosis were identified in the Murraylands, and northern and central Adelaide in late 2023, which is why a state-wide response is needed.

As put by Chris Picton

We have seen an increase of tuberculosis cases which is why we're investing more than $15 million into a co-ordinated state-wide response.

Tuberculosis is a treatable and curable disease, so it's important we have a response that can be scaled up, with care provided where people live. Controlling these outbreaks promptly with comprehensive follow-up and support means not only a better outcome for individuals but for the whole community into the future.

It's also vital we continue working closely with Aboriginal communities and engaging in a respectful way.

As put by Chief Public Health Officer, Professor Nicola Spurrier

Tuberculosis is not commonly seen in Australia, but it is treatable and preventable.

It is important we continue to approach the ongoing clusters with a sustained response based on strong relationships with Community.

Involving a range of sectors and organisations, we will continue to support the community to have the information and services in place to facilitate quick testing and support treatment, no matter where people live in South Australia.

As put by Chief Aboriginal Health Officer, Kurt Towers

Tuberculosis does not discriminate and is a public health consideration for all South Australians.

The $15.2 million additional investment is a crucial step towards eliminating tuberculosis in Aboriginal communities across South Australia.

This funding will continue to support meaningful partnerships with Aboriginal communities and healthcare services, to provide a culturally informed response, care, and support to stop the spread of this treatable and curable disease.

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