Newsletter for the Rotary Club of Western Endeavour - Issue No.: 1053 Issue Date: 5 Feb, 2023

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Puntukurnu Aboriginal Medical Service

Today we were able to learn about the Punukurnu (Pilbara) Aboriginal Medical Service from Steve Klomp, the independent director of the organisation.

Steve gave a frank and occasionally disturbing picture of the issues involved with running a medical service to indigenous Australians in the most remote parts of the country, the East Pilbara.

The service runs six centres from Newman to the Kiwirrkurra Community near the NT boarder. In the ten years Steve has been with the service they have become the trusted organisation by government and donors with a strict constitution, diligently monitored and audited.

The service works hard to address some of the largest challenges in the area from renal and diabetes issues to addictions, FASD, dementia and sexual disease but is also involved with child and school health and accommodation issues.

Of particular interest to our members was some of the latest information regarding FASD from the scientific viewpoint to the legal implications. The rate of FASD in the Pilbara is a staggering 80%.

After some meaningful discussion and questioning Steve detailed how organisations like Rotary could assist the organisation.

Organisations wishing to get a no-holds-barred insight into the difficult issues of indigenous health would do well to talk with Steve.

Author: John Boxall

Published: 16 August, 2022


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