Indigenous health to benefit from $1 million donation by pharmaceutical industry

Medicines Australia will make a $1m donation to the Jimmy Little Foundation at a Parliament House function this evening (Tue 16 March) to help improve indigenous health outcomes in remote communities.

The donation will be used by the Foundation to fund two separate indigenous health initiatives primarily in northern and central Australia.

The Uncle Jimmy “Thumbs Up!” campaign will deliver healthy eating messages to Indigenous communities, to encourage children and parents to make more nutritious food and drink choices.

A second initiative is the establishment of a mobile renal dialysis unit to be managed by the Western Desert Nganampa Walytja Palyantjaku Tjutaku Aboriginal Corporation based in Alice Springs.

Medicines Australia chairman Will Delaat said both projects reflect the pharmaceutical industry’s commitment to ensuring the donation delivers a practical, on-the-ground difference to the lives of Indigenous Australians.

“Australia’s pharmaceutical industry wanted to invest in an initiative that was going to be worthwhile and that could make a real, long-term difference,” Mr Delaat said.

“If this donation can encourage young Indigenous Australians to choose more nutritious food, and if Indigenous Australians on renal dialysis in the western desert can travel home and have treatment while they are there with their family then this money will have been put to great use.

“The 17-year gap in life expectancy between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians is a blight on our nation. It’s an appalling situation and as a community we must do all we can to help change it.

“While this is a relatively modest contribution compared with the vast challenge we all face in closing that gap, it is a positive and responsible step forward in effecting change.”

Medicines Australia’s donation has been funded by fine revenue collected from member companies found in breach of the Medicines Australia Code of Conduct.

“We made a commitment to the community that once administrative costs of running the Code had been covered, any fine revenue would be put to a worthy cause,” Mr Delaat said. “Today we are delivering on that promise.”


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