First aid idea from USQ student

RURAL communities could benefit from the use of indigenous medicines and Western first-aid techniques according to a Hervey Bay university nursing student.

University of Southern Queensland student Kisani Upward spoke about the topic at a four-day forum for the National Centre of Indigenous Excellence (NCIE) last month, detailing the potential health benefits of combining traditional medicine with Western first-aid techniques.

The first-year student impressed not only her university lecturers, but also organisers at the NCIE conference with her ideas on combining the two modes of medicines.

"The forum was absolutely fantastic," Ms Upward said.

"They really encouraged me to develop my idea further and present it officially to the Federal Government."

Ms Upward said the idea for the combination came to her as she was working with students at Hervey Bay High School as part of the Dream Aspire, Reach and Experience indigenous student program.

"As part of the program, we mentored students at HBSS, and they had an indigenous medicine garden," she said.

"While I was there I was thinking it would be really cool if we could use traditional indigenous medicines along with Westernised ideas, especially in first aid."

Rural communities could use the techniques to treat injuries in remote areas, Ms Upward said.

"In rural communities where hospitals are kilometres away, adults and children could be taught basic first-aid using traditional indigenous medicines so they can become self-sustainable," she said. "In remote communities it's hard to get medical attention, so if they learn the basics there'll be a lot less risk of infections."



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