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Grant to help Kimberley mothers and babies

Friday, 9 October 2015
  • $144,679 Lotterywest grant to the Kimberley Aboriginal Medical Services Limited
  • For purchase of two vehicles to help in the delivery of a maternal health strategy
  • Strategy aimed at preventing micro-nutrient malnutrition and iron deficiency in infants

Kimberley mothers and babies will gain greater access to a new maternal health program thanks to the purchase of two new 4WD vehicles through a Lotterywest grant.

Premier Colin Barnett presented the $144,679 grant in Broome today to the Kimberley Aboriginal Medical Services Limited, which will deliver the program along with the WA Country Health Service.

The two vehicles will be used by child health nurses and midwives to roll out the three-year program across the Kimberley.

Mr Barnett said the vehicles were vital to ensure the program was able to reach as many mothers and infants as possible, regardless of their geographical location.

"The Kimberley covers an area more than 400,000 square kilometres, and with many of its population located in remote parts, it can be challenging for the nurses to travel to all areas safely," he said.

The maternal health program will address the issue of micro-nutrient malnutrition and iron deficiency anaemia. These issues are associated with severe medical and developmental problems and affect about 50 per cent of mothers and 60 per cent of breastfed young infants in Aboriginal communities.

"With more than half the infants in the Kimberley region affected by these issues, it's vital this program is accessible to all mothers and infants across the region," the Premier said.

The program, which has been developed in collaboration with Aboriginal leaders and health practitioners, will be implemented in clinics across the Kimberley, as well as other specific communities, to enable access for all mothers.

Kimberley Aboriginal Medical Services Limited and the WA Country Health Service have partnered with The University of Western Australia to deliver the strategy as a research project, with learnings and outcomes used to inform the strategy's future wider implementation across the State.

Fact File

  • The Kimberley Aboriginal Medical Services Limited is a major employer in the Kimberly, with Aboriginal people representing more than 70% of its 400+ workforce

Premier's office - 6552 5000

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