Pilbara Faces Program

Closer to closing the Indigenous health gap

Pilbara Faces Program.

100 faces were captured from very remote communities. These communities are very hard to access and are closed to the public. These otherwise ‘invisible faces’ are crucial to ensuring the library encompasses the facial variation that exists in the community.

Launched in 2017, and led by clinical geneticist Professor Gareth Baynam, the Pilbara Faces program has been made possible by the Foundation, through the Emerging Leaders in Philanthropy program, in partnership with the Roy Hill Community Foundation.

Pilbara Faces combines 3D facial photography and innovative medical technology to build the world’s first library of photographs of Indigenous children’s faces – a unique knowledge base to assist in-medical diagnosis, treatment monitoring and clinical research.

“Pilbara Faces is a ground-breaking research initiative contributing to rare disease diagnosis globally. We are proud to support a truly transformational approach making such a significant impact.” – Carrick Robinson,CEO, Perth Children’s Hospital Foundation.

The images are used to identify subtle variations in facial contours, often imperceptible to the naked eye, which can be markers of disease and monitored to assess response to treatments.

For the very first time, doctors can say whether Aboriginal facial features fall into the range of normal variation based on their ethnicity. This information is essential for making a diagnosis for genetic and rare diseases with facial clues.

Thanks to Pilbara Faces, there has been an increase in the referral of more Aboriginal children to genetics clinics in WA that have subsequently been definitively diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder.

You can help support life-changing ground-breaking research like the Pilbara Faces Program by making a donation today. Your support will help bring clinicians closer who are the best in their fields and support the translation of projects into clinical practice and fund prevention and early intervention research that drastically improves kid’s lives. To make a donation today, click here.

Thank you to Roy Hill Community Foundation for the image provided in this blog post.

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