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NT Chronic Diseases Network Annual Conference
by Helen Barnard
Chronic Diseases Network Conference
The 13th Annual Chronic Diseases Network Conference 2009 theme "Prevention is the Best Medicine", reflects the growing recognition that chronic diseases and their underlying factors are preventable.
Chronic diseases not only result in death and disease, they are also a massive economic burden on the community and the health system. 70% of the difference in life expectancy between Indigenous and non-indigenous Australians can be attributed to chronic diseases.
Interventions are needed well before complications appear. It is neither cost effective nor acceptable to wait until people and populations get sick. To reduce the burden of preventable disease, we need to be concerned not only with the individual context or factors, but also with the context of broad public policies and environmental influences, group and family influences and the community context.
This Conference will:
- Facilitate discussions on the challenges of delivering preventative health services addressing chronic and complex health issues at both an individual and population levels, particularly in Indigenous populations and rural / remote communities in the NT;
- Highlight strategies that support the behaviour changes needed by individuals, families and communities in order to improve chronic disease outcomes and promote wellbeing;
- Host debates about the challenges and enablers for achieving the balance between financial and time investments in prevention and cure;
- Examine the best ways to address the role of governments, business, industry, and non-government organizations in improving health, reducing premature death & avoidable suffering and increasing productivity;
- Showcase current work that encourages healthy living, creates health-promoting environments, increases the capacity of communities to control their own health and addresses the social determinants of health.
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