MH Week 2017

“Women’s Journey to Good Health” was selected as the theme for Multicultural Health Week 2017.

 The aim of the week was to increase the awareness of women’s health and wellbeing in CALD communities in the health topic areas of:

  • domestic violence
  • female genital mutilation
  • pregnancy
  • heart health
  • cancer screening.

 In general, women are more vulnerable and disadvantaged than men in terms of poverty, education and occupation, income, power and access to health services[1]. Women are also more likely to use health services because of their role as the main carers of children, older people, and people with a disability[2], and have significantly higher mean number of visits to their primary care clinic and diagnostic services than men[3].

These issues of inequitable access and outcomes are often compounded for women from CaLD communities, particularly due to language, cultural, socio economic and psychological barriers. For example, language is considered one of the biggest barriers in achieving social connectedness[4], and while translation services are often available, accessing translation services has been reported as difficult[5].

 A diverse array of statewide and local level activities was implemented across NSW during the week.

 At a statewide level health promotion and communication activities included a media launch, the development and distribution of health educational resources and the promotion of statewide events. Highlights included:

  • 150 people attending the media launch including Raymond Williams MP, NSW Minister for Multiculturalism
  • Over $22,500 worth of valuable unpaid media coverage across local, mainstream and ethnic multimedia platforms in NSW, which disseminated the key messages.

 

At a local level, eight local health districts participated delivering over 20 events. These events ranged from:

  • community health information sessions
  • additional health screening opportunities
  • promotion of local multicultural services
  • staff capacity building workshops.

 

Multicultural Health Communication Service has been successfully delivering Multicultural Health Week in partnership with the NSW Ministry of Health and Local Health Districts since 2009. Multicultural Health Week is an important communication and health promotion event for CaLD communities in NSW and the health professionals that support them. The week, particularly the launch event, has come to be expected by stakeholders across NSW. Multicultural Health Week continues to evolve and plays an important role in addressing the NSW Health multicultural health principles of equitable access to appropriate health information and quality health services.

 



[1] Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (2012), Australia’s Health 2012, Available at http://www.aihw.gov.au/publication-detail/?id=10737422172

[2] Bertakis K.D., Azari R., Helms L.J., Callahan E.J., Robbins J.A., (2000) Gender differences in the utilization of health care services. The Journal of Family Practice, 49 (2), 147-152.

[3] Bertakis K.D., Azari R., Helms L.J., Callahan E.J., Robbins J.A., (2000) Gender differences in the utilization of health care services. The Journal of Family Practice, 49 (2), 147-152.

[4] Shaw, S.J., Huebner, C., (2009), The Role of Culture in health literacy and chronic disease screening and management, Journal of Immigrant Minority Health, 11, 460-467

[5] Flores, G., (2005) The impact of medical interpreter service on the Quality of health care: A systematic review,  Medical Care Research and Review, 62 (3), 255 - 299