Cairns in tropical North QLD welcomes around 400 new humanitarian arrivals each year, where they are supported by the Cairns Refugee Health Nursing team and settlement agency Centacare. In October this year, the Refugee Health Network QLD visited Cairns to provide education and capacity building to support the collaborative work being done to deliver great health and settlement outcomes to refugees in regional QLD.
The visit included practice visits to a GP practice where new arrivals are referred for their refugee health assessment and a refugee health education evening hosted by the Northern QLD Primary Health Network, which was well attended by nurses working in child health, sexual health, aged care and other services, as well as teachers and settlement staff. Attendees got to work through an interactive case study to get them thinking about the services available in their area and how best to work in a culturally responsive way with the Bhutanese, Burmese and Congolese communities settling in their region.
A highlight of the trip was a visit to Cairns’s Breastscreen QLD centre, where Refugee Health Nurse Jodi and Centacare had organised a women’s health education session for women from Cairns’s Congolese community. The women were given information about breast health, sexual health and menopause by Jodi and nurses from Breastscreen and the sexual health service, and given the opportunity to ask lots of questions and even book in to get a breastscreen done. The women who attended all rated the session with a “smily face” on their evaluations and will hopefully spread the word to all their friends.