More Focus Needed To Improve Health Of Indigenous People Worldwide

The Lancet: Indigenous health: a worldwide focus
Editorial Board

“…[I]t makes no difference where you live if you are Indigenous — you will be worse off health-wise, regardless of the economic status of that country. Why do such large differences exist between populations living in the same country? The answer is related to poverty, poor education levels, employment status, and access to health services, and whether Indigenous people are actually counted, which they are not in some countries. So, what can be done to improve the lot of Indigenous and tribal peoples worldwide? [A collaborative paper published in The Lancet examining the health of Indigenous and tribal people globally] calls upon the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals to take specific account of Indigenous people, especially the goals directed at ending poverty, improving health and education, and reducing inequalities. Policymakers should follow Australia’s lead and make Indigenous disadvantage a national policy priority. Without that, the situation will remain unchanged, with … people continuing to die much earlier than they should and women dying unnecessarily in childbirth. The next steps for the group will be to revisit these data in a few years, to see what governments have done now that the health inequalities have been brought clearly into focus” (7/9).