Mrs Patricia Amaranti1
1The Australian Indigenous Healthinfonet, Kalamunda, Australia
Tobacco use among pregnant Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women in Australia is disproportionately high. In 2014, 45% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women in Australia reported smoking during pregnancy, compared to 13% of non-Aboriginal pregnant women . The Preventing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Maternal Smoking (PATSIMS) portal aims to support the Maternal and Child health and Tobacco prevention workforce to reduce smoking among pregnant women and promoting smoke-free environments which is critical to improve health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and their babies. In the past accessing appropriate culturally safe resources and information has been identified as a barrier to the success of their work  and the recently updated PATSIMS portal which is an extension of the successful original Preventing Aboriginal Maternal Smoking WA (PAMSWA) portal program, was initially designed to address this problem . The recently expanded portal provides high quality, culturally appropriate information and resources for individuals, communities and practitioners, working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women, their families and communities, along with a national workshop program offering hands on training to make best use of the resources. The portal links to a free Yarning place chat forum, to encourage information sharing and collaboration, allowing rural and remote health workers wider interactions with like-minded professionals involve in maternal and child health for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and babies.
- Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (2016) Australia’s mothers and babies 2014: in brief. Canberra: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare
- Passey M, Sanson-Fisher RW (2015) Provision of antenatal smoking cessation support: a survey with pregnant Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women. Nicotine & Tobacco Research;17(6):746-749
- Wilkins A (2015) Preventing Aboriginal Maternal Smoking Western Australia: baseline evaluation survey results. Perth, WA: Preventing Aboriginal Maternal Smoking Western Australia
Trish Amaranti is a Research Officer with the Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet (AIH) with over 25 years’ experience working in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and education. Trish’s current AIH responsibilities include the Eye health topic and the West Australian health topic areas, as well as the development of the Preventing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Maternal Smoking portal, Yarning place and national workshop training program.