AMRRIC is privileged to work with remote Indigenous communities, however with very limited health care facilities, and significant health and socioeconomic disparities, the impacts of COVID-19 infections are likely to be very serious for our friends in these remote locations. Most remote communities across Australia have now been declared Designated Biosecurity Areas, restricting access to all but essential service providers.
With the serious threat that COVID-19 poses, AMRRIC is committed to doing all that we can to protect our friends and partners in remote communities. While in the long-term, veterinary services are certainly essential in remote Indigenous communities, ultimately the health and wellbeing of communities themselves is our number one priority.
As such, following the advice from Federal and State/Territory governments, as well as local stakeholders, AMRRIC’s planned 2020 remote Indigenous community veterinary and education programs have been temporarily suspended. We anticipate this suspension to remain in place while remote community travel restrictions are current – at least until June 2020, though potentially longer.
We appreciate that the suspension of veterinary services is likely to negatively impact both animals and people in remote communities, however given the current circumstances and the catastrophic consequences of a COVID-19 outbreak in remote communities, feel this is the most appropriate response at this time. We anticipate that once we come out of the other side of the current COVID-19 situation, we will face an unprecedented demand for urgent veterinary services.
While we cannot currently deliver services on the ground, the AMRRIC team continue to be busy working behind the scenes to assist and support remote communities albeit from afar. Our efforts are concentrating on ensuring communities have the resources they need to keep their animals healthy during the absence of veterinary services. We are also working on educational resources about COVID-19 and animals, which we will include at the bottom of this page as available.
Our staff are working from home but can still be reached by telephone or email.
The AMRRIC team have also developed a series of resources which are available here.
With very best wishes,
The AMRRIC team