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Indigenous people have a shorter life expectancy - around 18 to 19 years less than non-indigenous people. The average life span is 57 years for an Aboriginal male and 62 years for an Aboriginal female. The most common causes of death include:
- Circulatory diseases - including heart disease and stroke. The number of deaths caused by conditions such as coronary heart disease is double that of the non-indigenous population.
- Diabetes - and other diseases of the endocrine system. The rate of diabetes is six times higher among indigenous people. It is estimated that diabetes affects between 10 to 30 per cent of the Aboriginal population.
- Injuries - sustained in accidents such as car crashes. An indigenous person is three times more likely to die in an accident than a non-indigenous person. The Aboriginal population also has high rates of suicide and homicide.
- Respiratory system diseases - deaths from chronic disease are three to five times more common. Around half of the diseases are caused by infections. Respiratory infections are 10 times more common in the indigenous population.
- Cancer - particularly lung, cervical and liver cancer. According to the South Australian Cancer Registry, the death rate among the indigenous population is higher because the cancers are typically diagnosed at a later stage.
Babana has a key aim of improving the health of our community and we have worked with key organisations to provide programs that can assist. We would like to thank the Redfern Police and the Aboriginal Health Promotion Unit for their ongoing support of our health program.
We run a weekly health walking program which is attended by both Aboriginal and Non Aboriginal members of our community. We meet each Sunday (weather permitting) at the Babana shed and proceed for a walk followed by breakfast.