CHILD & MATERNAL HEALTH
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Good health and well-being are essential for all children. Spinifex health service supports families in all aspects of infant and child growth and development. The partnership between the Spinifex health service and families is paramount to successful child growth and development. By acknowledging that the family (parents, carers, grandparents, aunties, elders) is the most important and influential element in a child’s life and using a strengths based approach to effect change in behaviour and health outcomes. Child health checks deliver a comprehensive approach to families to ensure that health issues are identified and addressed early in order to maximise positive outcomes for the infant/child. It is recognised that the first year of life is critical to ensure healthy growth and development of children. Therefore, there are additional health checks offered from the antenatal period onwards. This is to enable health issues such as growth failure, infections, hearing loss, developmental delay, the impact of mental health, drug and alcohol issues, or risk factors associated with Sudden Unexpected Death in Infancy (SUDI) to be identified early. Staff are then able to either commence early intervention or refer to appropriate agencies.
The Spinifex Health Service Child Health Team consists of Remote area
nurses /midwives, aboriginal health practitioners and our general
practitionerwho provide services in different settings; at home, in the clinic,
at school and in the Family Centre where care is accessible and culturally
appropriate. All of these health professionals have a vital role in supporting
parents/carers with infants and young children as for many families they
are the only link into health and social services.
The flexibility in service delivery allows staff to deliver care tailored to
individual and community needs. Our Child health service aims to improve
health outcomes for children by providing effective early support at critical
periods in a child’s life to minimise the harmful effects of disadvantage
and increase the likelihood of children achieving their social,
educational and personal aspirations.
Health promotion is an essential part of core business with the very successful Young Women’s Community Health Education Program which gives young women (12-20 years) information about 12 different health and well-being topics e.g. bullying self-esteem sexual education, women’s health, STI prevention. Learning is facilitated by both the child health /midwife and the Community Youth Worker. Learning and the increase of knowledge is achieved through game playing and outcomes measured by participant game scores each week. Soon to be starting with the Young men.
Healthy Kids meals are being sold through the school enterprise scheme. Brightly coloured kids design snack box which contains an iron rich sandwich, a piece of fruit and a bottle of water. This initiative is trying to tackle childhood anaemia by providing parents with a simple healthy meal choice.