Public health action through community partnership: Epidemiological and cultural insights after the 2015-2016 mumps outbreak in the Kimberley, Western Australia

Public health action through community partnership: Epidemiological and cultural insights after the 2015-2016 mumps outbreak in the Kimberley, Western Australia Journal Article

Australian Indigenous HealthBulletin

  • Author(s): Eastwood, A, Haenga, M, Kelly, G, Bin Demin, J, King, T, Lewis, P, Davies, P, Morgan-Dann, R, Masuda, L, Banks, A, Ward, J
  • Published: 2018
  • Volume: 18

Abstract: Objective: We integrated epidemiological and cultural insights in reviewing the public health response to a mumps outbreak declared in the remote Kimberley region of Western Australia in April 2015. Methods: An iterative process of engagement culminating in co-authorship with an Aboriginal Reference Group (ARG) of our outbreak responses, reflections and future directions. Results: This mumps outbreak was found to affect predominantly Aboriginal teenagers and young adults with pre-existing high mumps vaccination coverage. Outbreak declaration invoked campaigns to implement a booster dose of MMR (Measles, Mumps Rubella) vaccine irrespective of previous vaccination history to people aged 8 to 35 years who were contacts of cases, extended household members, or who resided in nine remote Aboriginal communities. In town settings and regional centres, 8 to 35 year olds in targeted households who had cultural links and frequent movement to and from the affected nine communities were also offered booster MMR vaccine. Following 3,102 MMR vaccines, transmission was effectively halted. In collaboration with the ARG, a fuller picture of particular opportunities for transmission and geographic spread afforded through sports events, Native Title meetings, royalty meetings, funerals and cultural ceremonies was retrospectively gained. The ARG also identified how to strengthen Aboriginal participation in future public health outbreak measures. Conclusions: Retrospective sharing by the ARG of their knowledge of cultural dimensions of remote Aboriginal communities clearly enlightened the Public Health Team’s understanding of communicable disease transmission across the region. Implications: Future outbreaks will be better managed in a culturally secure way.

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Suggested Citation
Eastwood, A, Haenga, M, Kelly, G, Bin Demin, J, King, T, Lewis, P, Davies, P, Morgan-Dann, R, Masuda, L, Banks, A, Ward, J , 2018, Public health action through community partnership: Epidemiological and cultural insights after the 2015-2016 mumps outbreak in the Kimberley, Western Australia, Volume:18, Journal Article, viewed 13 August 2022, https://www.nintione.com.au/?p=14317.

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