The South West Aboriginal Medical Service unveiled its new maternal and child health clinic, Kwilenap last week.
The clinic, located at the Australind Healthplex, was officially opened by Federal Minister for Aged Care and Indigenous Health Ken Wyatt and will midwifery and child health services to Collie.
“Research shows that healthy choices from conception to three years of age have a big impact,” he said.
“Working with local, community based organisations like SWAMS, we understand how a strong start supports children to go to school, enables adults to lead productive and long lives, and helps maintain community strength.”
Kwilenap, meaning ‘place of the dolphins’ in Noongar language, will provide Aboriginal families in the region with improved access to maternal and child health services.
SWAMS chief executive Lesley Nelson said she was thrilled to add the new facility to the organisations growing portfolio of services and programs.
“Providing quality health care to our community is vital,” she said.
“Building capacity in our services and creating opportunities for our clients to access quality health care and support is our highest priority.
“Kwilenap will ensure clients have access to a multi-disciplinary team of midwives, child health nurses, Indigenous outreach worker and an Aboriginal health worker, who will work together to ensure healthy pregnancies and healthy infants.”
In addition to midwifery and child health services, the clinic will also offer a unique cultural program, which will draw on the knowledge of Elders to support new mothers and fathers in their transition to parenthood.
“The Kwilenap program will encourage and empower our community to raise strong, healthy children,” Ms Nelson said.
“We want to arm parents with the knowledge and skills needed to embark on a positive parenting journey while giving their children the best possible start to life.”
Member for Forrest Nola Marino congratulated SWAMS and said she was proud the government was supporting the landmark new service.
“We are providing just under $440,000 to SWAMS for the program this year and we were have invested more than $116,000 to refurbish this centre in Australind for the program,” she said.
“The benefits will be widespread, with local women comfortable to come here to see nurses and doctors, and many others visited by health workers through outreach services.”
For more information contact 9726 6000.