Fast-paced yoga gets women talking at Blacktown Hospital

Sudanese migrant Rawda Mahdi shows off the body scrub she created during the stress management workshop for Women’s Health Week at Blacktown Hospital.

Yoga moves were practiced and bath bombs were crafted as more than 100 women packed Blacktown Hospital today for a multicultural Women’s Health Week event.

The morning was specifically designed to reach culturally and linguistically diverse women with important health messages including stress management and cervical and breast cancer screening.

Doonside resident Amelia Inyasio said the event was one of the most helpful she’d attended in her 15 years living in Australia.

“All the women were really happy with the talk about women’s cancer screening, we agreed it was very clear and helpful,” Amelia said.

Jin Mei Cheng and the other women enthusiastically embraced their yoga session, which also helped the participants bond and open up.

“It was nice to be open and not ashamed to talk about such things, and ask a lot of questions. With some cultural backgrounds it can be harder to talk about these things if there are men present.

“I benefited a lot and I’ll definitely be talking about it. It was a very good program and I hope they continue to do this more often.”

The day was a collaborative effort between Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD) Multicultural Health, SydWest Multicultural Services and Blacktown City Council.

Interpreters were available, and the program included blood pressure testing, healthy food, yoga, and wellbeing and stress management.

Clinical nurse specialist Alex Rudnitskiy checks Dahia Mandobali’s blood pressure.

WSLHD Multicultural Health refugee program officer Carly Copolov said the excellent turn out showed there is an appetite for more such events in western Sydney.

“It was a fantastic day for so many women from different backgrounds, ages and all walks of life,” she said.

“We tried something different with the workshop format and it worked really well. The women were really engaged and enthusiastic.”

Multicultural Health is now planning a tour of Auburn Hospital for the Afghan community next Wednesday, September 11, as well as a tour of Blacktown Hospital for Arabic-speaking women on October 24.