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Healthy Start Session #4 Rohingyan Community 2013

Healthy Start Session #4

HS Session #4 primarily involved Rohingyan clients from Burma.

HS#4 involved several different cultural groups however it was the first time we had involved the Rohingyan people from Burma. The Rohingyan people have been described as one of the most persecuted groups in the world which is why we made sure that we would focus on them and address their health concerns. We had heard from settlement workers that the Rohingyan culture was one that was very conservative and shy, but as the day progressed we were able to connect and the discussion began to flow freely. This is one of the most celebrated characteristics of Healthy Start, an environment where people from completely different cultures can band together to work towards a common goal.

The day was a hit, the beautiful and bright colours worn by our female clients was the visual embodiment of the energy in the room. People who had never had the opportunity to talk about health matters close to them were opening up and sharing. Students and clients alike learned so much on the day and the feedback from all involved demonstrated this. The most notable part of the day was the Women’s Health module where Laura Renger (Griffith Medicine year 3) and her team gave a comprehensive understanding of what happens at a women’s health check. The final result was that a number of our clients agreed to participate in their first ever female specific health check. Laura and her team made bookings that very day for these women to attend a local health clinic with all costs covered by our sponsor Greater Metro South Brisbane Medicare Local (GMSBML). Further to this Laura managed to organise the only official Female Rohingyan Medical language translator in QLD to be present when the women had their checks. We should remember that these types of health checks can prevent the death of women from diseases such as cervical cancer and breast cancer.

On this day the HS exec team and the settlement organisations learned the real extent of the program to make a positive impact on people’s lives. It truly is a testament to what creative and motivated students can do to help those in our community and we are very proud of all the students and HS exec that made it possible.

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