Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples
Government and research reports identify multiple factors as contributing to high rates of injury in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. These include the ongoing effects of colonisation, social disadvantage, drug and alcohol misuse, violence, poor safety standards, and unsafe roads and living environments
To address injury inequities we need to prioritise injury prevention, acknowledge the broad underlying social determinants and provide targeted approaches for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. Few studies quantify the cost of injury. In Western Australia Aboriginal people make up 3.6% of the total population but account for 7.7% of total injury costs. We need a much better understanding of how to effectively engage Aboriginal communities in injury prevention.
Data show rates of injury to Indigenous children to be consistently higher than for non-Aboriginal children, with high rates of injury-related hospitalisation and mortality. While the injury mortality rate for non-Aboriginal children in NSW has halved over the past 15 years the rate for Aboriginal children has remained the same. The mortality rate for Australian Indigenous children from injury-related causes is almost 5 times higher than the rate for non-Indigenous children. The largest injury inequalities are for poisoning, injuries due to exposure to fire, flames, heat and hot substances and transportation.