On Thursday 30th July, the Federal Assistant Minister for Health, Fiona Nash, announced funding for Western Desert Nganampa Walytja Palyantjaku Tjutaku Aboriginal Corporation (also known as The Purple House) to continue the delivery of dialysis services and a range of renal support activities in remote communities in Central Australia, with the intention being to provide community-based dialysis in Ernabella/Pukatja Community on the APY Lands. For the full media release from Senator Fiona Nash click here.
The Federal Government’s announcement is very exciting and will be celebrated across remote communities and by families who are currently living without their relatives who have been forced to move to city centres in order to access dialysis services. Extending the reach of dialysis services and locating these services in communities will mean that people can be home with their families and participate in community and cultural activities – this can only be good for people’s health and wellbeing.
People living in remote communities and across the APY Lands have been asking for community-based dialysis services for many, many years. This funding will contribute towards their dream coming true. Sadly, the realisation of this dream has come too late for many Anangu elders and leaders who lobbied and campaigned for dialysis services but who have since passed away while waiting for the available funding to be ‘put into action’ – let’s hope that this recent commitment of funding can be used in such a way as to honour their years of struggle and commitment.
Western Desert Dialysis has shown over many years that community-based dialysis is feasible and it is very exciting to hear that they have been granted additional funding to extend their very valuable work into the APY Lands.
Anangu communities and those suffering from renal disease are sincerely hoping that the funding that has been made available will be used for providing community-based dialysis services on the Lands and that all the relevant governments and departments and service providers will join hands to make this important service happen.
If you’d like to listen to a recent Paper Tracker radio interview with Sarah Brown, the Chief Executive Officer of Western Desert Dialysis Nganampa Walytja Palyantjaku Tjutaku, you can listen to it here.