Skin infections are a big problem for remote-living Australian Aboriginal children. In fact, almost one in two children at any one time will have a painful or itchy skin sore on their arms or legs. If not treated properly, skin infections can allow bacteria to enter the body and cause blood poisoning or sepsis, bone infections and lifelong damage to the kidneys and heart.
A/Prof Bowen’s comprehensive approach to skin health is an exemplar for dealing with diseases of disparity and environmental health in remote Aboriginal communities, and includes leading clinical trials to address identified knowledge gaps; advocating for public health action on diseases of inequity and developing guidelines to translate knowledge into policy and practice. Her team regularly visit remote Aboriginal communities to
learn from Elders and families, and aims to develop culturally appropriate healthy skin messages by working closely with community members.
Asha’s wide-ranging public outreach has included science activities and events with primary and high school children, and numerous interviews in magazines, radio, print, and television. A/Prof Bowen received her PhD from Charles Darwin University in 2015 and is currently NHMRC Early Career Research Fellow at the Telethon Kids Institute, Paediatric Infectious Diseases specialist at Perth Children’s Hospital and Clinical Associate Professor, University of Western Australia.