Expo links refugees to health services and support

refugee week expo
Fatima Ouda and her daughter Souad Ouda with nurse Angela McCole at the expo!

Health services in western Sydney extended a helping hand to the community as part of the 2017 Refugee Health Expo at the Mount Druitt Community Hub.

The expo was held to assist newly arrived refugees in western Sydney to understand how to access healthcare and obtain free basic health checks such as blood pressure, dental and more.

More than 75 refugees attended, with 20 service providers who were on-hand to provide valuable support and information.
Priority Populations Program Lead for Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD), Jo Fuller, said the event aimed to improve access to health services and keep our community healthy.

“I’m pleased we were able to provide a safe environment for basic health services and answer any questions about how to access health care.
“Understanding health services can be difficult to navigate as a newly established refugee.

“It was a great way to empower our community through education.”

The event, which was held on Friday October 20, is an initiative of the Western Sydney Refugee Health Coalition, which was established in late 2016.

The coalition is a partnership between WSLHD, the Western Sydney Public Health Network, NSW Refugee Health, Sydney Children’s Hospital Network and community services including Settlement Services International (SSI), SydWest Multicultural Services, Mt Druitt Ethnic Community Agency (MECA), Auburn Diversity Services Inc. (ADSI) and Community Migrant Resource Centre (CMRC).

The goal of the coalition is to strengthen collaboration and partnership between health, primary care and services supporting refugees in the community to improve access to appropriate support, service delivery and health outcomes for refugee and refugee like patients and communities.

“Western Sydney is home to many individuals from refugee communities who have complex and multiple health care needs.

“Refugees can also be exposed to inequities such as the deprivation and disrupted access to health care in their former country.

“Our coalition aims to support refugees in their health care journey, improve accessibility and enhance health service provides’ responsiveness to the needs and issues of our refugee patients.”

For more information about the Western Sydney Refugee Health Coalition, please contact Monika Latanik, Multicultural Health Services manager: monika.latanik@health.nsw.gov.au

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