Home' Australian Pharmacist : Australian Pharmacist August 2013 Contents 12 Australian Pharmacist August 2013 I ©Pharmaceutical Society of Australia Ltd.
Practice to primary
APNA has formally changed its name
from the Australian Practice Nurses
Association Incorporated to the
Australian Primary Health Care Nurses
Association Incorporated. APNA was
established in 2001 as the national
body representing and supporting
nurses working in general practice.
In 2009 it defined its purpose as,
'to be the peak body for nurses
working in primary health care,
providing representation, professional
development and support at a local,
state and national level'. At its AGM in
May members voted overwhelmingly
to change the organisation's name
reflect its broader purpose.
Ross River vaccine research
Synthetic vaccine technology to
combat Ross River Fever and new
anti-cancer molecules are the focus
of new research projects by students
from Charles Sturt University's (CSU)
clinical science program. The projects,
being conducted through the School
of Biomedical Sciences at CSU in
Orange, will assist in the ongoing
development of synthetic vaccine
research and contribute to drug
discovery work which could form
the basis of a new approach to the
chemotherapy of several cancer types.
Microbiology lecturer in the School,
Dr Peter Anderson said: 'We are mainly
interested in Ross River virus for its
potential as a model system to develop
a different kind of vaccine technology;
it is a great model system because of
its broad host range'.
In-pharmacy rapid HIV testing
Community pharmacies can potentially
provide a high quality, safe and readily
accessible location for HIV and STI testing
using new on-site testing technologies
according to University of Sydney
researchers Dr Anthony Santella, Professor
Ines Krass, Dr. Tim Schlub and Associate
Professor Richard Hillman.
They are conducting a research study
assessing Australian community
pharmacists' knowledge and attitudes
to HIV and willingness to conduct rapid
HIV and other sexually transmitted
infections (STIs) are often undiagnosed
or diagnosed late because of the stigma
associated with them, the frequent
asymptomatic nature of their clinical
presentations, and the limited number
of testing providers and venues for
marginalized and at-risk populations.
In Australia, it is estimated that one in five
people living with HIV is not aware of their
infection, and thus, possibly transmitting
the virus to their sexual partners. People
living with HIV are most infectious to others
in the immediate period following initial
acquisition of the virus, and thus easy
access to regular testing is increasingly
recognised as an important part of public
health responses. Furthermore, with
the increased availability of simple, safe
antiretroviral regimes, the benefits of
earlier commencement of therapy are now
becoming more widely accepted.
As a consequence, all major HIV and STI
strategies, including the Australian HIV
Strategy prioritise increasing accessibility
and frequency of testing of at-risk
populations, which is now made possible
by new, on-site testing technologies.
According to the researchers, community
pharmacies, with their recognised trust and
expertise, close links to local populations
and widespread geographical distribution
can potentially provide a high quality,
safe and readily accessible location for
HIV and STI testing. Simple point of care
HIV tests thus represents an opportunity
for pharmacists to expand their public
It also offers another screening and health
promotion activity that may count towards
the requirements for PPI payments for
primary health care.
They are asking pharmacists to complete an
anonymous survey. Participants have a chance
to enter into a prize draw for participation. The
survey is accessible at www.surveymonkey.
A linguistic bridge to deaf clients
The National Auslan Interpreter Booking and
Payment Service (NABS) is available free to
people who use sign language to communicate
and would like to book an interpreter for private
health care appointments.
It began in January 2005 as a direct response to
the previous lack of Australian Sign Language
(Auslan) Interpreting for private medical
services. NABS is an activity of Wesley Mission
Brisbane and is funded by the Commonwealth
Department of Family and Community Services
and Indigenous Affairs (FaCHSIA).
Previously, deaf and hard of hearing
people had to resort to writing down their
medication requirements on paper to their
pharmacist/health care provider. The health
care provider in turn would have to write
notes back. This painstaking communication
back and forth between the deaf patient
and pharmacist/health care provider often
leaves information not fully understood by
the deaf patient, or the pharmacist/health
care provider not understanding all questions
from the deaf patient. With the provision of
Auslan Interpreting, this barrier is removed.
The pharmacist/health care provider and the
deaf client communicate freely.
Several pharmacist/health care providers have
reported they are very happy with having
a sign language interpreter present, as it
assists communication between them and
their deaf patients. The interpreter serves as a
It is important that health care professionals are
able to fully understand their deaf or hard of
hearing clients so that accurate information on
medication is provided. Likewise, it is important
that the deaf person is fully informed and make
fully informed choices for their health.
NABS is based in Chermside, Brisbane,
Queensland and provides services all over
Australia including remote and regional areas.
NABS also provides educational presentations
to both the deaf community and medical
care professionals Australia-wide. NABS can
be contacted through www.nabs.org.au, or
telephone 1800 246 945.
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