Bushfire Response

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Dear Colleagues and Friends,  

The start to 2020 has been difficult, especially those directly affected by our bushfires. Many of us are busily working in affected communities. These are unprecedented times, which bring a range of professional and personal challenges. AFMW acknowledges the role of all the medical and health professionals who stayed in fire and smoke affected areas in order to serve their communities and all the locum doctors who rapidly volunteered to help and support. Since AFMW stands for and with all women medical doctors, we at AFMW  particularly acknowledge the role of women doctors who have been part of this effort.

1.  Communication – Bushfire Crisis Conversation and Action Guide

What can we all do as doctors? Medical doctors are taught to listen and from listening learn how to move forward – these skills  are very important for our communities now.

Start with heartfelt conversations about the bushfires with your own community or your own patients as appropriate.

Conversations are a way to :
1.       Connect and check in about how the fires, the smoke, the heat and the drought are affecting folk
2.       Start to build understanding about the causes, impacts and solutions
3.       Plan action to respond to this “new normal”

Credit to School Strike 4 Climate Change. 

2.  Staying safe 

Please ensure you stay safe and avoid unnecessary travel to bushfire affected areas. Check for emergency updates regularly.
3. Climate health emergency campaign
 
Doctors for the Environment, Australia (DEA) has launched a  Climate Health Emergency campaign, with support from the RACP, RACGP, ACEM, ACRRM and TSANZ, colleges representing over 65,000 doctors. All have  declared climate change as a health emergency. More colleges are expected to make similar declarations as DEA continues engagement with them.
 
AFMW is working on a climate policy and will discuss this at the upcoming Council meeting in February. Please have your say now! Complete our member poll, and forward any comments to us at afmw@afmw.org.au.  
 
What can you do?
 
– Learn more about the influences of the environment on human health, and the urgent health impacts of climate change on women and children.  We strongly encourage you to join Doctors for the Environment, Australia.  Join AFMW at the annual DEA conference in April.
 
– Personally declare a climate emergency by signing and sharing this petition. Disseminate this campaign through your hospitals, practices, health services and colleges.  
 
 
4. Personal support
 
For peer to peer support contact the Doctors’ Health Advisory Service 
 
5. Support bushfire affected areas:
 
Please support any of the reputable organisations supporting affected communities. 
 
 
Don’t forget, anyone in need of support is welcome to contact us at afmw@afmw.org.au
 
Kind regards,

AFMW Executive 

Collated by the new AFMW Newsletter Editor, Katie Gould. We welcome her to the AFMW team. 

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