Around the Precinct – 26 August 2021

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, 2021 will always be remembered as a significant year for our health services but it also marks another big milestone – The Alfred’s 150th birthday. For a century and a half, the hospital has helped the Victorian community during difficult times, and this year is no different as their clinicians, nurses and support staff work tirelessly to keep us safe during the pandemic.

The Alfred has always been at the forefront of innovation in healthcare, and many Alfred staff have played important roles in the public health response to COVID-19, from testing and treatment to vaccination. Public health is a big focus for the precinct this week, with researchers examining the effectiveness of various responses in the pandemic toolkit, as well as issues of public compliance.

And while it might be hard to find much to smile about at the moment, one study has found that laughter may very well be the best medicine for a healthy life, with humour influencing people’s behaviour and intentions around their health.

The Alfred 150th anniversary

To mark their 150th anniversary this year, The Alfred is celebrating the grit, tenacity and compassion of the human spirit.

Alfred Health

The Alfred’s 150th Anniversary: A celebration of the human spirit
Throughout its 150-year history The Alfred has stood firm with the Victorian community during times of challenge: fires, floods, disaster and much more.
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New Medical Oncology Research Manager appointed
“The Alfred Cancer Trials unit is progressive, innovative, supportive, and driven – it’s a dynamic environment to be in, and that’s what excites me.”
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Monash University – School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine

What happens when traffic accident compensation stops?
Dr Shannon Gray has recently been awarded a DECRA grant to investigate the movement of Australians injured in road traffic accidents through the established benefits systems.
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Could humour be the key to a healthier society?
Laughter may very well be the best medicine for a healthy life, according to research released today. Published online in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, ‘A systematic review of humour-based strategies for addressing public health priorities’ found that humour interventions could be effective to influence people’s behaviour and intentions around their health.
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The toolkit to manage the COVID pandemic, and public health compliance
World Health Organisation Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus recently said of the international COVID response that “we are all in this together, but the world is not acting like it”. In summarising the global response to the COVID pandemic, he warned that if we continue down this disjointed path, there will be more than 300 million COVID cases each year. While we’ve seen a lack of cohesion internationally, we’ve also seen this mirrored in Australia.
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Burnet Institute

Ventilation a failing and an opportunity
Effective ventilation may be Australia’s biggest failing of the COVID-19 pandemic, Burnet Institute Director and CEO Professor Brendan Crabb AC argues – but it also presents the greatest opportunity to mitigate the spread of the virus.
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Focus on contact tracing, lockdowns in opening up
The ongoing need for lockdowns and effective contact tracing need to be considered in the public debate over plans to reopen Australia, according to Burnet Institute Senior Principal Research Fellow, Professor Allan Saul.
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Why our COVID ambition must remain close to zero cases, even as we climb to high vaccination
Burnet Institute Director and CEO Professor Brendan Crabb AC, Technical Advisor Know-C19 Hub Professor Mike Toole AM, and Deputy Program Director Health Security Dr Suman Majumdar explain why COVID zero should continue to be Australia’s goal in an editorial for Nine Media publications.
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What does the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan mean for the health of women and girls?
Professor Mike Toole AM recaps the record of the Taliban on women’s health, and suggests strategies for the international community to safeguard women’s and girls’ human rights and protect the health gains of the past two decades.
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Rising COVID-19 cases in NSW “a national emergency”
Public health experts have urged the New South Wales Government to implement tougher and more uniform COVID-19 restrictions, warning the state’s rapidly growing outbreak could soon overwhelm hospitals.
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