Experiences as a Regional Infection Control Coordinator in the Kimberley

Carol O’Sullivan1

1WA Country Health Service, Locked Bag 4011 Broome, WA6725, Carol.OSullivan@health.wa.gov.au  

 

The Kimberley Health Region of the WA Country Health Service covers the Kimberley Region of Western Australia. It is the state’s most northern region; almost twice the size of the State of Victoria, 3 times that of the United Kingdom, and only slightly smaller than California. In addition to the 6 main towns, there are over 200 occupied Aboriginal communities of various population sizes scattered throughout the region, with nearly 50% of the population Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander.

The Kimberley is noted to have the highest rate of community-associated (CA) MRSA in Australia; Kimberley clinicians indicate CA-MRSA is endemic in Aboriginal communities causing considerable skin infections and hospitalisations. The infection control practitioner in the rural and remote Kimberley region is affected by the challenges faced by the societal and environmental factors that impact on the health of Aboriginal communities.

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