Written by Richard
Published on December 31, 2014
The Ngala Nanga Mai (‘We Dream’) program is focused on improving the health and wellbeing of young Aboriginal parents and their children. Isolation and lack of support have been identified as key issues and are known to have negative impacts on maternal and child health and well being, and on child development. Managed by Professor Karen Zwi, the program has three main objectives, namely, to improve the health of young Aboriginal parents and their children, to facilitate a return to educational (and thus employment) opportunities, and to improve social connectedness. The program has several components, all located at the participants' local health centre, including a twice weekly 3 hour art program for young parents which has resulted in several exhibitions and collaborations with other organisations, an Aboriginal Early Education Officer to provide support and education to parents, an Early Childhood Nurse to undertakes well baby checks and meet women antenatally, and a Paediatric doctor to provide an accessible co-located paediatric clinic and deliver health promotion talks.
The program began in 2009 when the local Aboriginal Health Education Officer identified that young Aboriginal women were socially isolated, impacting on the health and wellbeing of both themselves and their children. Since then, evaluations have demonstrated the program's effectiveness in terms of improving the program participants' health, education and social connectedness.
As Ngala Nanga Mai runs on a tight budget and relies on Sydney Children’s hospital medical staff, volunteers and goodwill for many components, learnmed has donated funds to help with the running costs. Remember, this donation is only possible because of your subscriptions. Give yourselves a pat on the back!