Issue 25
June 27, 2019
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Important Role GPs Play in Better Protecting Child Travellers

A spike in cases of enteric fever at the Children’s Hospital at Westmead has highlighted again that children travelling to South Asia to visit friends and relatives (VFR) are at high risk of getting typhoid and hepatitis A.

There were 15 cases of typhoid and paratyphoid infection and five cases of Hepatitis A from November 2018 to March 2019. Most children travelled to India, Bangladesh, or Pakistan, where one child acquired an extensively drug resistant typhoid. All children required hospitalisation for IV antibiotics and intensive public health follow-up.

Most children were aged over two years old, but very few received pre-travel hepatitis A or typhoid vaccination. Several parents reported being told by a GP that their child was too young for travel vaccines, or none were needed.

Typhoid and Hepatitis A are both vaccine preventable diseases. Hepatitis A vaccine is recommended and licensed in Australia to be given from 12 months of age (Vaqta brand) and the injectable typhoid vaccines from two years (Typhim, Typherix). Live, attenuated oral typhoid vaccine (Vivotif) can be used from six years old. UK guidelines suggest considering off-label use of typhoid vaccine from one year when the risk is high, such as prolonged travel to South Asia. Similarly, Hepatitis A vaccine is recommended in Canada from six months of age to high risk child travellers.

Children of migrants travelling back to their home country to visit extended family are known to be at higher risk for travel-related disease, but parents are less likely to seek travel advice. Opportunistically asking patients about travel plans, especially before our long summer holidays can help GPs identify and protect this vulnerable group. Discuss food and water safety, and recommend hepatitis A and typhoid vaccination to all eligible VFR travellers to south and south-east Asia.

Resources for GPs relating to vaccination for international travellers is available online.

Travel Vaccination pathways are also available on HealthPathways. Access this and other related pathways using the following login details:
Username: health
Password: w3stern

Jun
29
Substance Use and Mental Health in General Practice
Saturday 29th Jun, 9:00am - 5:00pm
FLYER
Jul
17
NDIS GP Workshop - Assisting Patients with a Disability
Wednesday 17th Jul, 6:00pm - 9:00pm
FLYER
Jul
24
HealthPathways: Urology Working Group
Wednesday 24th Jul, 6:00pm - 9:00pm
FLYER
Jul
27
Infection Control and Sterilisation Workshop
Saturday 27th Jul, 12:30pm - 5:00pm
FLYER

Western Sydney Partners in Recovery

The Western Sydney Partners in Recovery (WSPIR) program will cease to operate as of Sunday 30th June 2019. Any clients who are currently registered in the program will either transfer to the National Psychosocial Support Extended Program (NPS2) to receive ongoing support to transition to the NDIS, or those clients found ineligible for the NDIS will continue to receive care coordination support under the Continuity of Support (CoS) program.

New referrals for clients who would have been eligible for WSPIR will go through a new service, NPS Core, which will be commissioned from Monday 1st July 2019. Further details of this new program and the intake process will be released shortly.

For more information about the conclusion of WSPIR and the transition of our clients visit our website.

RACGP eHealth Webinar Series

The RACGP eHealth webinar series delivers monthly webinars on eHealth topics pertinent to general practice. Over 900 GPs, practice staff and IT professionals have attended these webinars in 2019.

Webinars are free of charge for all participants.Upcoming topics include:

  • Improving health record quality in general practice
  • Technology in general practice
  • Privacy and managing health information in general practice.

These webinars are developed and delivered by members of the RACGP Expert Committee – Practice Technology and Management (REC–PTM) and other eHealth experts.

Respiratory Education Day

A respiratory education day for nurses and allied health professionals is being held on Friday 12th July, at Westmead Hospital Education Block. Delivered by experts in the field, the event will cover key topic relating to respiratory disease management. For more information and to register please contact Mary.Roberts@health.nsw.gov.au

GP Association meeting

The following GP Association meetings are coming up in western Sydney:

Blacktown: Timely Management of Non-valvular Atrial Fibrillation to Prevent Stroke, Wednesday 17th July.

Mount Druitt: Common Eye Problems, Friday 26th July.

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