Justice prize for indigenous health research
Dr Alice Rumbold, a perinatal epidemiologist, has won a national award for her work helping indigenous women to overcome life-threatening reproductive diseases.
Dr Rumbold, a Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology and a member of the Robinson Institute, has been awarded a 2010 Future Justice Medal for demonstrating leadership and initiative in Australia's most disadvantaged sector.
For the past five years Dr Rumbold has worked with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, researching why indigenous women are more susceptible to reproductive cancers and other health problems.
Dr Rumbold said indigenous people faced health setbacks on a day-to-day basis, with sexually transmitted infections such as gonorrhoea and Chlamydia unacceptably high in Aboriginal communities, compounded by other health problems such as diabetes, polycystic ovary syndrome and obesity.
"These are all having a marked impact on the reproductive health of Aboriginal women, particularly in pregnancy outcomes," Dr Rumbold said.
"Infertility, pelvic inflammatory disease and ongoing pelvic pain are the end result of these health issues and the tragedy is that most of these conditions are largely preventable," she said.
The Director of the Robinson Institute, Professor Rob Norman, said Dr Rumbold demonstrated leadership and achievement "beyond her years" as a researcher.
Dr Rumbold is currently chief and associate investigator on several NHMRC grants that total more than $2.4 million and was South Australia's Tall Poppy of the Year for 2009.
Story by Candy Gibson