Research Project: Contraceptive Technologies and Reproductive Choice Among Immigrant Women

 

Professor Lenore Manderson (front, left); Associate Professor Andrea Whittaker (front, right) and Ms Azam Naghavi (back, right) from Monash University with the MCWH bilingual educator interview team.

Professor Lenore Manderson (front, left); Associate Professor Andrea Whittaker (front, right) and Ms Azam Naghavi (back, right) from Monash University with the MCWH bilingual educator interview team.

Last week researchers from Monash University conducted an interview training workshop with a group of MCWH bilingual health educators.  Our bilingual health educators were trained to conduct research interviews for the Contraceptive Technologies and Reproductive Choice Among Immigrant Women ProjectThe research will identify how immigrant and refugee women access information and advice about contraceptives; their use of sexual and reproductive health services; and how providers ensure women’s informed choice.  The research team will interview 70 women from at least four different countries, including India, China, Afghanistan and Sudan.  The Project is being conducted in partnership with Monash University, the Centre for Culture, Ethnicity and Health and Family Planning Australia Alliance.

The research project is funded by an Australian Research Council Linkage Grant 2013-14.

 

Healthy Lives, Healthy Futures Project Success

 

Healthy Lives Healthy Futures Project

This week MCWH and Turning Point celebrated the success of the Healthy Lives, Healthy Futures project after 2 years of working together with 6 fabulous ethno-specific organisations focusing on youth:  Arabic Welfare; Australian Vietnamese Women’s Association; Australian Federation of International Students; Centre for Multicultural Youth; New Hope Foundation; and Southern Ethnic Advisory and Advocacy Council. The half day celebration was an exciting opportunity to share experiences and results.

Together, we have delivered over 55 education sessions, including community events, youth camps and radio broadcasts. We’ve reached over 1200 participants across Victoria, both men and women, parents and children. Sessions have been delivered in 6 languages and to over 26 different cultural groups including a large number of international students.

Overall, participants have responded positively to alcohol information, sharing their personal stories, asking lots of questions and engaging in activities. Key themes that emerged across sessions include limited alcohol and other drug literacy, family breakdown and alcohol related violence. Different cultural perspectives on alcohol use and misuse, as well as key factors influencing the use of alcohol have also been identified.

The feedback from the day was that Healthy Lives Healthy Futures has been an excellent starting point for reducing alcohol-related harm in young people and, we hope, will be the beginning of more collaborative partnerships.

Check out our Healthy Lives Healthy Futures animation here.

Launch of the Culturally Responsive Palliative Care Community Education project

The Hon. David Davis, Minister for Health with Sir James Gobbo, Patron of Palliative Care Victoria (PCV) and representatives of MCWH, ECCV and Pallitiave Care Victoria.

The Hon. David Davis, Minister for Health with Sir James Gobbo, Patron of Palliative Care Victoria and representatives of MCWH, ECCV and Pallitiave Care Victoria.

MCWH is very pleased to be part of the Culturally Responsive Palliative Care Community Education project, a collaborative project headed by Palliative Care Victoria and launched by the Health Minister, Hon. David Davis. The project will use best practice approaches to raise awareness about palliative care and improve access to palliative care services, focusing on the Chinese, Italian, Maltese, Turkish and Vietnamese communities.

In collaboration with the Ethnic Communities Council of Victoria, MCWH will run around 90 peer education sessions using our bi-lingual educators, as well as raising awareness through ethnic media. The launch was a great success, and MCWH looks forward to working with communities on this issue.

Media Release: National project to assist communities affected by FGM/C

MCWH is focusing its national efforts on improving support and assistance provided to women and girls affected by female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C). The development of a national website and best practice guidelines for the abandonment of FGM/C are at the core of MCWH’s latest initiative.

Executive Director of MCWH, Dr Adele Murdolo said that the National Education Toolkit for FGM/C Awareness (NETFA) Project will ensure a more targeted approach to community education that will help communities affected by FGM/C move toward abandonment of the practice.

The NETFA Project is one of 15 projects funded through the Federal Government’s Health System Capacity Development Fund FGM Support Targeted Round and will be carried out over the next twelve months.

Read the full media release …

Launch of the Bbkayi Report

Bbkayi means Baby plus two in Cantonese. It’s the title of a report which outlines the enablers and barriers for Chinese women in the City of Whitehorse to access antenatal, maternal and parent support. The study found that family and Chinese cultural practices such as the 30 day confinement period play an important part during pregnancy and childrearing and influence how Chinese women access programs and services. Many factors, including the resettlement experience, lack of familiarity with the Australian health system, and differing health and spiritual beliefs of different cultures can make it difficult for immigrant and refugee communities to access health services.

The study, commissioned by Whitehorse Community Health Service, is a fantastic resource for anyone interested in improving the cultural relevance of health services. Congratulations to Megan Wong, the project leader and author of the report and special thanks to MCWH Chinese BHEs, Dongmei Zhang, Rebecca Heli and Yuki Murdolo, who made invaluable contributions to the project with their experience and knowledge.

You can read the full report here.

Common Threads Report and Best Practice Guide Launched by Maria Vamvakinou

Member for Calwell Maria Vamvakinou with author Maria Hach, MCWH Chairperson, Repa Patel and Executive Director Adele Murdolo at the Common Threads Launch

Member for Calwell Maria Vamvakinou with author Maria Hach, MCWH Chairperson, Repa Patel and Executive Director Adele Murdolo at the Common Threads Launch

On 4 December the Federal Member for Calwell, Maria Vamvakinou MP, launched the MCWH Common Threads Report and Best Practice Guide in Melbourne. Vamvakinou launched the publications on behalf of the Minister for Health Tanya Plibersek, and spoke passionately about her own experience and years of work with immigrant and refugee communities in her electorate.

The report is the culmination of a national and cross-cultural initiative to understand and articulate the issues, needs, values and experiences of immigrant and refugee women in relation to their sexual and reproductive health.

By focusing on the stories and experiences of women from four different cultural and linguistic groups (Chinese, Indian, Sudanese and Middle Eastern) alongside consultations with key health providers in the field, the Common Threads report is a compelling illustration of why definitions of health must incorporate the social determinants which affect wellbeing: factors such as gender, culture, language, and socio-economic situation. It is equally, a testament to the voices of immigrant and refugee women, and why these voices need to be heard and shared in a national forum.

Because of stories such as those in Common Threads, our new vision for MCWH is to be the national voice for immigrant and refugee women’s wellbeing in Australia.

The Common Threads Report and Best Practice Guide are essential reading for health practitioners working with migrants and refugees.

You can read the full report here …
and you can access the Best Practice Guide here …