Thursday, Jun 15, 2017

Local Aboriginal families with young children will benefit from new services after Nunyara Aboriginal Health Service was successful in gaining a $500,000 grant in June 2017.

The funding has been awareded under the New Directions: Mothers and Babies Services program, which is an initiative of the Commonwealth Government’s Department of Health, and aims to deliver antenatal, postnatal and early childhood services targeting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families with children under five years.


Nunyara plans to use the funding to improve the health care of local children from antenatal care right through until they attend primary school.


The health service currently have a part time Aboriginal Maternal Infant Care (AMIC) Practitioner and access to a Midwife one day per week, but the funding would increase the hours of these two positions as well as create 4 new jobs.  Nunyara will employ a Child Health Coordinator, Child Health Nurse, AMIC Trainee and Transport Officer to support the new program.


Nunyara Aboriginal Health Service CEO Cindy Zbierksi said the Team anticipate that they can “more than double” Nunyara’s current service delivery outputs in relation to improved access and outcomes for 0-5year olds.


“We can increase the child health checks by at least doubling them in the first 6 months  and increase childhood immunisation by 20% on the current figures,” she said.


The provision of a Transport Officer in the new program will also assist clients to attend specialist appointments in Port Augusta, who have more Paediatric and Obstetric services than Whyalla.  Mrs Zbierski said this has been an issue in the past, as travelling to Port Augusta is less than 100km away so clients do not qualify for the Patient Assistance Transport Scheme (PATS).


Nunyara are currently working on converting one of their buildings into an appropriate space for this service, and plan to have the team fully operational by the end of 2017.