African women gain health skills and confidence

Nuba woman Halima Tawoor, Hoyam Tiso, Rawda Mahdi and Fawzya Hussien.

African women are improving their health, computer skills and confidence thanks to a first-of-its-kind pilot program from Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD) Multicultural Health.

‘Computerise Base Health Literacy’ is a free weekly class that covers basic computer skills and health literacy, with the aim of helping women from the Nuba community understand the Australian healthcare system. An interpreter is available to assist participants.

The Nuba people are various indigenous ethnic groups from the Nuba Mountains in Sudan, many of whom have been forced to flee their country due to war.

Speaking at the launhc, Multicultural Health Service manager Monika Latanik said the program is designed to empower Nuba women to take care of their health.

Multicultural Health program officer Abulla Agwa said Nuba women face health issues including diabetes, stress, high blood pressure and dental health.

“This program will build confidence by assisting and empowering the Nuba women to increase their health literacy and computer skills to navigate health system independently,” Abulla said.

“For example, they will now be able to find local doctors who speak Arabic and book online appointments to see their GP.”

Speaking at the launch last Friday, Nubian community leader Fawzia Eltgani thanked WSLHD for running the program.

“This will be helpful for the women to improve their knowledge about the Australian health system and be able to make decisions about their health,” Fawzia said.

Following the successful launch, the program will now run weekly.

The Multicultural Health team partnered with a local Nuba community group to run the program from their office and build on existing infrastructure. WentWest donated four laptops and WSLHD donated a printer to make the classes possible.

If the program is successful, it could be replicated for other communities to meet their health needs and improve health literacy and access to quality health care across western Sydney.

To attend the program or find out more information contact Abulla Agwa on 0448 056 688 or email