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Indigenous genetics and rare diseases: Harmony, diversity and equity

Baynam, G., Molster, C., Bauskis, A., Kowal, E., Savarirayan, R., Kelaher, M., Easteal, S., Massey, L., Garvey, G., Goldblatt, J., Pachter, N., Weeramanthri, T.S. and Dawkins, H.J.S. (2017) Indigenous genetics and rare diseases: Harmony, diversity and equity. In: de la Paz, M.P., Taruscio, D. and Groft, S.C., (eds.) Rare Diseases Epidemiology: Update and Overview. Springer, pp. 511-520.

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Advances in our understanding of genetic and rare diseases are changing the face of healthcare. Crucially, the global community must implement these advances equitably to reduce health disparities, including between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples. We take an Australian perspective to illustrate some key areas that are fundamental to the equitable translation of new knowledge for the improved diagnosis of genetic and rare diseases for Indigenous people. Specifically, we focus on inequalities in access to clinical genetics services and the lack of genetic and phenomic reference data to inform diagnoses. We provide examples of ways in which these inequities are being addressed through Australian partnerships to support a harmonious and inclusive approach to ensure that benefits from traditional wisdom, community knowledge and shared experiences are interwoven to support and inform implementation of new knowledge from genomics and precision public health. This will serve to deliver benefits to all of our diverse citizens, including Indigenous populations.

Item Type: Book Chapter
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Sir Walter Murdoch School of Public Policy and International Affairs
Publisher: Springer
Copyright: © 2017 Springer International Publishing AG
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