THE HON WARREN SNOWDON MP
Minister for Indigenous Health
6 April 2011
Indigenous babies in Mount Isa will have a better chance of being born healthy and staying healthy following the announcement today of more than $420,000 to develop culturally appropriate pre-pregnancy care and early childhood development services.
Minister for Indigenous Health Warren Snowdon said the Australian Government funding would be provided to Gidgee Healing (Mount Isa Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Service) to develop a holistic and caring environment for new and expectant mothers in the Queensland town and surrounding region.
“The funding will help to bolster and improve access to care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mothers and their children through home visiting and outreach services.
“As well as improved antenatal and postnatal care, there will also be better monitoring of developmental milestones, immunisation status and infections, and better availability of health checks and treatment referrals before children start school. Mothers will also have better access to information about baby care, practical advice and assistance with breastfeeding, nutrition and parenting,” Mr Snowdon said.
Earlier this week, the minister also opened the enhanced Kalkadoon Aboriginal Sobriety House (KASH) drug and alcohol rehabilitation centre at Spear Creek, near Mount Isa.
KASH is a holistic drug and alcohol rehabilitation centre with dormitory-style family accommodation for up to 45 people. Its residents come from the Mount Isa region, the Gulf and the Northern Territory.
The upgraded centre now features a new Training House which was built and fitted out following a $332,200 grant from the Australian Government.
The new Training House will be used to provide ‘life skills’ training to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people being treated. The training courses will play a key role in addressing the holistic needs of clients, enabling them to become job ready and to engage fully in all aspects of life.
KASH will also make the Training House available to other community organisations in the Mt Isa region.
“The Australian Government is committed to Closing The Gap in health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Mt Isa and across Australia,” Mr Snowdon said.
For more information, contact Mr Snowdon’s office (02) 6277 7820