Good quality data describing the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander infants, children and young people in Victoria are needed to accurately determine the number of births to Aboriginal mothers and fathers each year, to analyse birth outcomes, and to determine the rate, cause and preventability of deaths occurring among Aboriginal infants, children and young people.
This five-year Australian Research Council-funded project is currently underway at the Onemda VicHealth Koori Health Unit, the University of Melbourne in collaboration with the Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (VACCHO). The study will address the critical issue of a lack of good quality data using an innovative method and research process.
The project consists of four phases; record linkage, coding and validation of coding for cause of death, data analysis and dissemination of information and preparation of the major report. Phase 1 will consist of the linkage of birth records from the Victorian Perinatal Data Collection (VPDC), the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages (RBDM), and the Victorian Admitted Episodes Dataset (VAED) with additional validation of Indigenous status from the Aboriginal Hospital Liaison Officer Collection (AHLOC). Phase 2 will involve the review of autopsy records and case files pertaining to child deaths occurring in Victoria between 1988 and 2008. Phase 3 will include determining the Indigenous status of births in Victoria and analyses of the linked, total population dataset.
- The second phase of the VACMS is continuing with more than 8000 deaths reviewed and coded so far.
- The VACMS Phase 1: The Birth Report: Patterns and Trends in Births to Victorian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and Non-Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Mothers and/or Fathers 1988–2008 inclusive has been released on 24 October 2013, and is avaiable on the VACMS Resource Page.
For more updates see the Progress Report.