Angel Award honours 'Kidney Stories'  educational tool

Friday, 22 June 2012

The Department of Health's Renal Services Unit has been honoured as a "kidney angel'' for its work in creating Kidney Stories, an educational resource for use in Indigenous communities.

The Angel Award has been presented to Renal Services by Kidney Health Australia in recognition of its work in creating a series of pictorial stories that increase awareness of kidney disease and fill an education gap.

Kidney Stories bridges the gap between medical terminology and an understanding of kidney health, Senior Renal Nurse Advisor Suzy Poppe said.

The series was produced as flipcharts in English and translated on to DVD in several languages. It uses pictures, and a few words, to explain the role of kidneys, how to keep them healthy, what happens when they start to fail and the options for treatment when renal failure occurs. It was writtenspecifically for Indigenous people with key points devised with the help of renal patients.

"The renal patients shared their experiences and were happy to be photographed so the illustrator had real patients as inspiration for the artwork."

Ms Poppe said kidney disease is a serious health problem for many Indigenous people and presently the indigenous population is the highest consumer for renal replacement therapy in the Northern Territory.

"Kidney Stories goes a long way to answering the many questions they might have. It also covers food and lifestyle habits that can be adopted to help keep kidneys healthy.

"The series has been distributed widely in the Northern Territory and is being enthusiastically sought after by interstate renal clinicians working with Indigenous clients."

The series was produced with Commonwealth and NT Government funding.

Media contact:    Bridget Wild 899 92818 or 0401 116 203