School of Primary, Aboriginal and Rural Health Care

Postgraduate research profiles


Christine Jeffries-Stokes

Phone: (+61 4) 9091 0675
Fax: (+61 4) 9021 4366


Start date

Apr 2007

Submission date

Christine Jeffries-Stokes


Wanti Sugarba - The Northern Goldfields Kidney Health Project


The Aboriginal people of the Central and Western Desert areas of Western Australia are diagnosed with End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) four times as often as non-Aboriginal people and in some areas the rate is as high as 30 times higher.

The aims of this project are to determine the prevalence of risk factors for end stage renal failure in three Aboriginal communities of the Goldfields of Western Australia, to determine the age at which the risk factors are appearing and to show that these risk factors can be reduced by the provision of culturally appropriate and relevant education about the diseases, diet and lifestyle.

Why my research is important

This PhD will make a substantial original contribution to scholarship in three ways:

1. Whilst it is known that there are high rates of kidney disease and diabetes in Indigenous populations in Australia most of this information comes from hospital morbidity and health surveillance data. Such data will identify people who are unwell or symptomatic and present to health services and they may not be population based, so will be an under estimate, or even a biased estimate, of the true prevalence in the community. Also they will identify people who are symptomatic at a relatively late stage of the disease so information about the age at which risk factors and disease are appearing is also very limited.

The proposed study will provide population based information about prevalence rates of renal disease, diabetes and their precursors and the age at which the risk factors are appearing for indigenous populations. This information is currently not available.

2. Although rates of renal disease and diabetes are known to be high in Indigenous populations there is very little information published about the rates of these diseases in the Wongutha People of the Eastern Goldfields – this study will address this gap in knowledge.

3. This study will trial an innovative approach to community based education and intervention and assess it’s effectiveness in this community.


  • Department of Health and Ageing (Rural Clinical School)
  • Healthway
  • The Myer Foundation


School of Primary, Aboriginal and Rural Health Care

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