banner1

Articles

Health Campaign

COUNTRY PRESS NSW Inc. RURAL HEALTH CAMPAIGN

Country Press NSW Inc. has developed a print campaign aimed at heart disease and bowel cancer in rural areas. The campaign, created by Love Communications, highlights the problem of heart disease — still the biggest killer in Australia — and promote self-awareness and early diagnosis among potential victims and their families.

The package includes three full-page print advertisements (two for heart disease, one for bowel cancer) and is accompanied by three articles. All are available to Country Press NSW Inc. members who can select the ads they wish to run and incorporate the editorial, either in their news pages or as the basis of a health supplement or advertising feature.

A trial run in one member newspaper resulted in a highly successful advertising feature. The first ad chosen to run was the "Road Map". In this instance the newspaper's graphics department changed some of the place names to reflect local towns and villages.
The editorial may also be adapted, using local expert commentary. There is no specific editorial for the bowel cancer advertisement, although there is nothing to stop members from building a news or advertising feature around this.

The advertising/editorial package is exclusive to Country Press NSW Inc. members. We only ask that copies of the newspapers running the campaign are sent to Country Press headquarters.

Heart Disease: the Biggest Killer in the Country

healthcampaign1

Most people think that a pain shooting down the left arm is a sign that a heart attack is imminent, but this is just one of many symptoms.

A quick checklist:
  • Sweating
  • Shortness of breath
  • Discomfort or pain between the shoulder blades
  • Chest or abdominal discomfort or pain spreading to the shoulders, neck, arm or jaw
  • Chest discomfort, pressure or burning
  • Indigestion or gas-like pain
  • Anxiety or nervousness
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Unexplained weakness or fatigue

A more detailed checklist, giving early warning signs and signs that mean urgent danger:

UNUSUAL FATIGUE

Early warning: You wake up tired; difficult to carry out usual activities; gets worse over time.
Red alert: Overwhelming exhaustion – too tired to do anything.

SHORTNESS OF BREATH

Early warning: Winded with little exertion; improves when you stop.
Red alert: Often the first symptom continues or worsens.

MOOD CHANGES

Early warning: Fleeting feelings of anxiety for no reason; goes away.
Red alert: Anxiety occurs along with shortness of breath and doesn't let up.

DIGESTIVE CHANGES

Early warning: Frequent indigestion.
Red alert: Terrible heartburn, often with nausea and vomiting.

WEAKNESS

Red alert: No strength, like having the flu.

SLEEP DISTURBANCE

Early warning: Trouble falling asleep or staying asleep.

CHEST DISCOMFORT

Early warning: Pressure, pain, burning or discomfort, like a pulled muscle.
Red alert: Pain is common, usually through chest or back. Crushing chest pain, pain radiating down arm.

OTHER PAINS

Early warning: Headaches and periods of blurry vision.
Red alert: Cold sweat, pale skin.

OVERALL

Early warning: Symptoms come and go but may increase in intensity and number as attack nears.
Red alert: You may have six or more different symptoms that become more intense and pile on top of one another.

You should act immediately. Warning signs can hit everyone differently, so don't take any chances.

* This article is based on a report co-authored by Dr Peter Sexton, of Medicare (Tasmania) who used Australian Bureau of Statistics data to examine the difference in coronary heart disease death rates between metropolitan areas and the rest of Australia. The report covered adults aged from 30 to 69 between 1986 and 1996 and, although the data has yet to be updated, Dr Sexton believes none of the underlying reasons has changed.


The Further You Get from the City, the Higher the Likelihood of Heart Disease

healthcampaign2Country people who don't seek medical attention early enough because they don't want to bother anyone are actually costing the nation a fortune.

The biggest killer is still cardiovascular disease (heart disease and strokes) and is costing Australia $14.2 billion a year.

This adds up to $706 for every Australian man, woman and child and, if the trend could be reversed, would result in the redirection of funding to other medical problems, which are probably not so easily avoidable.

Many lives (and a phenomenal amount of public money) could be saved if there was a concerted move towards early self-diagnosis.

Although waiting lists for a visit to the doctor can be as long as six months in some rural areas, a simple cholesterol test can easily be fitted in.

Yet many rural people are unlikely to make the call unless they have a very strong indication something is seriously wrong.

But, with the rural tradition of "fixing things yourself", self-awareness and early diagnosis is crucial in fighting heart disease.

* This article is based on a report co-authored by Dr Peter Sexton, of Medicare (Tasmania) who used Australian Bureau of Statistics data to examine the difference in coronary heart disease death rates between metropolitan areas and the rest of Australia. The report covered adults aged from 30 to 69 between 1986 and 1996 and, although the data has yet to be updated, Dr Sexton believes none of the underlying reasons has changed.

Heart Disease is the Biggest Killer in the Country

healthcampaign1People living in rural Australia are much more likely to die from heart disease than those who live in the cities – and they seem to accept their fate.

The death rate is 30 per cent higher for men and 21 per cent higher for women in rural areas.

Among Australians who have heart attacks, about 25 per cent die within an hour of their first-ever symptoms and more than 40 per cent will be dead within a year.

Country Australia is particularly vulnerable to the worst possible outcomes due to reduced access to health care and procedures (specialists, surgeries and transplantation), lower rates of primary health care consultation and "fatalism".

It is this reluctance to seek help and the attitude of "what will be, will be" that has become the target of a Country Press NSW initiative to encourage self-awareness and early diagnosis.

CPNSW is a firm supporter of better medical facilities for regional areas, but at the same time believes that the individual can play a greater role in analysing his or her own health.

"Too many people are just leaving their lives to fate, or simply don't want to bother anyone," said CPNSW past president, Ken McKenzie.

"But this attitude is ending up more costly for everyone – and often with tragic endings that are totally avoidable."

Mr McKenzie said it was clear that a simple health check-up could yield a significant change in health outcomes for country people.

He pointed to figures that showed half the Australian population over 25 had high blood cholesterol, 60 per cent over 25 were overweight and 30 per cent over 25 had high blood pressure.

Cardiovascular disease (hearth disease and strokes) affects one in six Australians at present (3.2 million), and one Australian dies every 10 minutes.

Mr McKenzie said that 67 per cent of families were impacted by cardiovascular disease and that everyone had an interest in encouraging early diagnosis.

"The annual check-up can be the difference between life and death," he said.

* This article is based on a report co-authored by Dr Peter Sexton, of Medicare (Tasmania) who used Australian Bureau of Statistics data to examine the difference in coronary heart disease death rates between metropolitan areas and the rest of Australia. The report covered adults aged from 30 to 69 between 1986 and 1996 and, although the data has yet to be updated, Dr Sexton believes none of the underlying reasons has changed.

There are some parts of Australia that a doctor will rarely visit.

healthcampaign3Treating bowel cancer isn't easy. It's even harder when most patients in country Australia rarely have a chance to see a doctor. Luckily, there is a practical way to treat bowel cancer. With early detection, as well as exercise and diet, we can start reversing the problem. Because when it comes to our most remote regions we should be extra vigilant.