Australian Football League clinics promoting health, hygiene and trachoma elimination: the Northern Territory experience

Australian Football League clinics promoting health, hygiene and trachoma elimination: the Northern Territory experience Journal Article

Australian Journal of Primary Health

  • Author(s): Atkinson, Josie R., Boudville, Andrea I., Stanford, Emma E., Lange, Fiona D., Anjou, Mitchell D.
  • Published: 2014
  • Volume: 20

Abstract: Australia is the only developed country to suffer trachoma and it is only found in remote Indigenous communities. In 2009, trachoma prevalence was 14%, but through screening, treatment and health promotion, rates had fallen to 4% in 2012. More work needs to be done to sustain these declining rates. In 2012, 25% of screened communities still had endemic trachoma and 8% had hyperendemic trachoma. In addition, only 58% of communities had reached clean face targets in children aged 5–9 years. Australian Football League (AFL) players are highly influential role models and the community love of football provides a platform to engage and strengthen community participation in health promotion. The University of Melbourne has partnered with Melbourne Football Club since 2010 to run trachoma football hygiene clinics in the Northern Territory (NT) to raise awareness of the importance of clean faces in order to reduce the spread of trachoma. This activity supports Federal and state government trachoma screening and treatment programs. Between 2010 and 2013, 12 football clinics were held in major towns and remote communities in the NT. Almost 2000 children and adults attended football clinics run by 16 partner organisations. Awareness of the football clinics has grown and has become a media feature in the NT trachoma elimination campaign. The hygiene station featured within the football clinic could be adapted for other events hosted in remote NT community events to add value to the experience and reinforce good holistic health and hygiene messages, as well as encourage interagency collaboration.

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Suggested Citation
Atkinson, Josie R., Boudville, Andrea I., Stanford, Emma E., Lange, Fiona D., Anjou, Mitchell D., 2014, Australian Football League clinics promoting health, hygiene and trachoma elimination: the Northern Territory experience, Volume:20, Journal Article, viewed 15 June 2024, https://www.nintione.com.au/?p=18077.

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