By Erica O’Donoghue MACN
Build awareness around the condition and leading research hopeful towards a cure
Last year, on 9 April 2019, the National Women’s Health Strategy 2020–2030 was launched with $52.2 million of funding allocated towards keys areas such as ovarian cancer ($20 million), endometriosis ($10 million) and Aboriginal service providers ($9 million) (Liotta). The strategy has also highlighted the first ever blueprint, the National Action Plan for Endometriosis, to improve the treatment and understanding of endometriosis including chronic pelvic pain (Australian Government: Department of Health).
This is a new approach for endometriosis, especially related to building awareness, advancing health care services and leading research hopeful towards a cure. The momentum has been building for some time with more lasting changes occurring right here in Australia. The following key points are selective and not at all comprehensive; therefore, it is encouraged to review all references to seek further information.
- Estimated > 700,000 Australian women, girls and other individuals have endometriosis
- An average of 7 to 12 years’ delay between symptom onset and diagnosis
- Affects those from pre-pubescence to beyond menopause
- It is not normal to have severe pain with menstruation (dysmenorrhea)
- Up to one in three women with endometriosis have fertility problems
- Many individuals have no symptoms at all
- There is no cure.
(Commonwealth of Australia, 2018)
- Raise awareness to reduce diagnostic delay
- Provide education to break the cycle of under-recognition
- Provide clinical management and care in an effort to improve patient outcomes
- Connect services for all stages of care pathways and disease progression
- Support research through a national clinical trials network.
(Commonwealth of Australia, 2018)
- Australian College of Nursing has developed an online endometriosis training module for nurses
- Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists is developing endometriosis clinical guidelines and online learning resources for medical practitioners
- Pelvic Pain Foundation Australia will deliver endometriosis, period and pelvic pain education for secondary schools in South Australia
- Jean Hailes establishing a Clinical Research Network and social media awareness campaign
- EndoActive is to disseminate 25 evidence-based videos called ‘Shared Perspectives’
- Robinson Research Institute, University of Adelaide, will develop a digital health platform for endometriosis information, resources, treatment tool and research support
Australian Government: Department of Health. (9th April, 2019). National Women’s Health Strategy: 2020-2030. Retrieved from https://www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/national-womens-health-strategy-2020-2030
Commonwealth of Australia. (2018). National Action Plan for Endometriosis. Retrieved from http://www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/endometriosis
Liotta, M. (9th April, 2019). Government boost of more than $50 million for women’s health. Retrieved from https://www1.racgp.org.au/newsgp/professional/government-boost-of-more-than-$50-million-for-wome
Ministers. (9th April, 2019). $10 million funding boost for endometriosis research and awareness. Retrieved from https://www.health.gov.au/internet/ministers/publishing.nsf/Content/health-mediarel-yr2019-hunt124.htm