Have you posted your red nose selfie yet? With the current crisis, Red Nose Australia has turned to digital strategies to raise awareness of risks of stillbirths and unexpected deaths of infants.
While August 14 is Red Nose day, this year street fundraising, volunteering and community events have taken a backseat. The big focus is now on calling for donations and participation in the digital nose campaign. The campaign is offering photos filters for use on Facebook and Instagram page, so people can show their support.
Red Nose fundraising campaign manager James Maloney said there had been a really good response so far.
“We’ve got lots of people on board with fund raising online and participating virtually in a lot of the activities for the campaign,” he said.
The Red Nose operates to provide more information about SIDS, SUDI and stillbirth. According to the better health channel SIDS is Sudden Infant Death Syndrome or a fatal sleep accident, whereas SUDI is known also as a ‘cot death’ or Sudden Unexpected Death of an Infant for no known reason. Stillbirth refers to the death of an infant before birth.
From Red Nose’s Facebook page
He said the Australia-wide statistics were scary as there were nine children that died a day and the rate of stillbirth in Australia had not changed in the last 20 years. Mr Maloney said that this was mainly because there is a lot that was unknown about the cause of stillbirth and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
“That rate not decreasing is exactly why we fundraise and invest money into research because we’re trying to find those answers,” he said.
Stats courtesy of Red Nose Australia
Recent research on SUDI includes a study by Rebecca Shipstone and colleagues from University of the Sunshine Coast. Published in 2019, the study found Indigenous infants in Queensland seemed to be dying suddenly and unexpectedly at a rate more than 3.5 times that of non-Indigenous infants.
The research shows that SUDI contributes significantly to infant mortality. It is in the top three categories of death and the leading category accounting for more than 90% of post neonatal deaths.
Other recent studies Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) found that in 2015–17, three leading causes of infant deaths of deaths were perinatal conditions (53%), congenital anomalies (23%), symptoms, signs and abnormal findings, including SIDS (9.3%).
The AIHW research states that the rate of SIDS deaths per 100,000 live births had decreased in Australia since the start of national public education campaigns about risk factors associated with SIDS in 1991.