We love life in tropical far north Queensland – a lovely, healthy place to live. But that wasn’t always the case.
In the late 1800s, Cairns was a small frontier town surrounded by mosquito-infested swamps. Tropical diseases were a daily threat to life, and medical science had little to offer.
But at the Cairns Hospital, Dr Edward Koch was doing his bit to change that. Dr Koch (pronounced Koh) was a pioneer of tropical medicine. Among other things, he worked out the link between mosquitoes & malaria. Life in FNQ became better and safer because of Dr Koch’s work.
So it’s fitting that the foundation that carries his name is working on one of today’s urgent health challenges — youth suicide prevention.
The Dr Edward Koch Foundation runs the FNQ Suicide Prevention Taskforce. This Thursday it will launch a Facebook page it hopes young people who may be considering suicide can use to find help, information and support. The same day, the Foundation will launch the Declan Crouch Fund, to raise funds to support suicide prevention efforts in Cairns & FNQ. Declan Crouch was a Cairns teenager who took his own life in March 2011.
Listen to the CEO of the Dr Edward Koch foundation, Dulcie Bird explain these important initiatives.