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The health of indigenous peoples 

The health of indigenous peoples
The health of indigenous peoples

Ian Anderson

and Sue Crengle

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date: 19 May 2022

This chapter reviews the health of indigenous peoples in a global context. The definition of indigenous peoples is a politically contested idea and the chapter begins by outlining some of the contours of this political and academic debate. It considers some of the ways in which indigenous peoples have been defined with a focus on two broad approaches which emphasizes the political characteristics and cultural characteristics of indigenous peoples. The second part of the chapter considers some of the characteristic patterns of indigenous health. Health and social data is of variable quality and availability, which makes comparison between different indigenous populations difficult. However, whilst indigenous peoples generally have poorer health outcomes relative to non-indigenous reference populations, patterns of inequality vary across different regions. The concluding section considers some of the strategies for health improvement, such as strategies to address the social determinants of health, improve access to quality healthcare, and improve the monitoring of indigenous health outcomes.

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