IHHP was approached by Melbourne University’s Indigenous Eye Health Unit (Minum Barreng), and Professor Hugh Taylor to assist in creating a National Diabetes Eye Health Campaign. The campaign encouraged community members with diabetes to get an annual eye check and to raise awareness among the community around prevention and treatment for eye health.
IHHP teamed up with Gilimbaa to visit the following three communities:
- Grampians, Ballarat Victoria (REGIONAL)
- Kimberley, Looma, WA (REMOTE)
- Brisbane Deception Bay (URBAN/METRO)
In each location we delivered song writing, recording, music video, filming interviews and personal stories, painting, drawing carving creative process with all the community creative ideas being culminated together to create the campaign.
Launch at Parliament House
IHHP was incredibly proud and privileged to be invited by Professor Hugh Taylor Melbourne University Eye Health Unit to Australia’s Capital Territory, Canberra, to Parliament House for the launch of ‘Check Today, See Tomorrow’ National Diabetes Indigenous Eye Health Campaign.
This campaign was created by IHHP and Gilimbaa working alongside Melbourne University and three awesome Indigenous communities; Ballarat/Grampians Vic (Regional), Looma WA Kimberley’s (Remote) and Deception Bay Brisbane (Urban). IHHP would have never had this opportunity if it wasnt for Dr Kelly Jones and Carol Wynne for trusting IHHP with this task. IHHP wishes to thank the communities and thank you to Amanda Lear and the Gilimbaa Indigenous Creative Agency for a deadly and powerful creative process.
The national implementation of the ‘Roadmap to Close the Gap for Visio’n recommends health promotion and awareness to ensure that all community members and health services staff are able to recognise the importance of eye health, be aware of the availability of eye health services, and are aware of the pathways to access eye health services through the continuum of care.
There are few evaluated health promotion and eye health initiatives and primary care delivered health promotion activities supporting eye health for Indigenous people.
With this in mind, an informative, engaging and community-driven process will be undertaken to develop eye health promotion messages and resources focusing on eyecare for those with diabetes in selected Australian Indigenous communities. This work supports the ‘Roadmap to Close the Gap for Vision’ regional health systems reforms and community consultations are being undertaken in selected regions where eyecare service improvements are being implemented.
The objectives of ‘Check Today See Tomorrow’ are to:
- Increase the awareness and knowledge of the prevention of diabetes related eye conditions and the importance of annual eye examinations.
- Increase the awareness and knowledge of the availability and accessibility of eye health services.
- Increase the knowledge and awareness of health professionals in prevention, identification and referral pathways for eye health conditions.
- Foster collaborative, sustainable partnerships that can support and improve the capacity of organisations to deliver locally appropriate eye communication and awareness.
During 2015, a suite of diabete- related eye health promotion resources (E.g. flip charts, poster series, picture booklets, music videos, personal stories etc.) will be identified and developed to meet the needs of community in three regions across Australia through community engagement and participation and social marketing strategies will be aligned to acknowledge the language, cultural and regional diversity of Indigenous Australians.
Regions (regions have been identified based on their progression of implementation of Roadmap Close the Gap for Vision recommendations)
This project and the processes undertaken will have important implications for engaging and empowering community members and bridging the gap between clinical intervention and improvements in eye health resulting from community driven strategies for Indigenous Australians. Diabetes eye health promotion for Indigenous Australians will be critical to close the gap for vision.
Key communication objectives: ‘Check today. See Tomorrow’
- Increase understanding of the role that modifiable behaviours such as having annual eye checks, improving blood sugar control etc. have in preventing the development of diabetes eye disease.
- Increase the understanding of the signs and symptoms of diabetes eye disease, especially those that are asymptomatic.
- Increase the understanding of the link between diabetes eye disease and vision loss.
- Increase the awareness that diabetes eye disease and vision loss can have significant long-term consequences on individuals.
- Increase awareness of effective surveillance, prevention and treatment pathways.
- Reduce the normalisation of vision loss.
- Address the perception among target groups that vision loss from diabetes eye disease is an inevitable part of Indigenous ageing.
- Increase the importance of eye health as a health priority.
- Prompt individuals to modify behaviours that contribute to diabetes eye disease.
- Encourage individuals to take action if they are showing signs of vision loss.
- Encourage individuals to regularly attend the clinic for eye tests, as there are often no signs of eye disease.
- Encourage individuals to correctly follow treatment pathways as prescribed by health professionals.
- Encourage individuals to request their eyes are screened as part of health assessments.
- Encourage health practitioners to extend their knowledge of primary prevention, identification, diagnosis and clinical care of diabetes eye disease in Indigenous communities.
- Encourage health practitioners to carry out eye tests as part of health assessments.
- Encourage the delivery of health messages that are consistent and evidence based.