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Aboriginal nutrition study

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The nutritional problems of Australian Aboriginal children are to be

examined as part, of an international collaborative study sponsored by the

7/or Id Health Organisation.

The Minister for Health, Dr D.N. Everingham, said today that the

Australian segment of the international study would be carried out in Central

Australia under the direction of Dr David Jose of the Research Foundation of

the Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne.

Dr Jose would use the Laboratory resources of the Foundation, the Royal

Children's Hospital and the World Health Organisation Reference Laboratory in

London, for the scientific back-up required for the immunological, biochemical

and other investigations involved in the study. '

The Australian segment of the international study will look into

malnutrition and infection and their effects on the immune response of Aboriginal


Apart from receiving W.H.O. support, the study has been approved by the

National Health and Medical Research Council and the Federal Department of

Aboriginal Affairs.

During the 1960's , Dr Jose was one of the principal workers in studies

carried out by the Queensland Institute of Medical Research into the problems of

malnutrition among Aborigines.

Dr Everingham said that the present W.H.O. sponsored international study

would take the studies by the Queensland Institute a significant step further.

He said the Institute had for the past 27 years been investigating a

variety of human and animal problems and had made notable contributions to the

advancement of knowledge in many areas, including malnutrition in Aboriginal


During the 1960's the Institute was one of the first to describe and

document the· widespread occurrance of malnutrition and growth retardation

among Aboriginal children. '

Dr Evcringham said it was significant and gratifying that Dr Jose, who

had taken such a prominent part in these studies, should now be in a position

to direct the latest project in Central Australia.

The Minister said that the project in Central Australia was in line with

the Government's new plan to raise the standard of health of Aborigines -

throughout Australia.

An important part of the new plan was the encouragement of research

• .workers to look at.problems where research was needed into some of the

unanswered problems of Aboriginal health. ■

Canberra, August 19? 1973 Dept No. 57