The mobile health clinic – Health-e-Screen4Kids - represented a new way of delivering health care to children in the region.
When a striking new van, emblazoned with brightly coloured indigenous artwork, hit the streets of the tiny Aboriginal community of Cherbourg in January 2009 it was the talk of the town. The mobile health clinic – Health-e-Screen4Kids - represented a new way of delivering health care to children in the region.
Staffed by a community health worker, the mobile clinic is fitted out with all the equipment needed to test a child’s hearing and vision and conduct a general assessment of their health and well-being. Once the check-up has been done, paediatric specialists based 300km away in Brisbane then access the child’s case notes and images via a secure web-based database to identify any problems and recommend the best way to treat them.
Studious and quietly-spoken Cherbourg primary school student Melissa was among the first children to be screened by the new service. Her grandmother Francis says the check-up unearthed some surprising health issues.
“She had to come down to Brisbane to get her tonsils out, adenoids removed and grommets put in her ears. I was surprised. She never complained of having sore ears just a sore throat,” she says.
“I said to Melissa when she got her tonsils out, ‘oh Melissa no more snoring, that will be very good! It was good to find out about my grandchildren; all the mothers feel the same,” Francis says. “They’re doing a good job helping keep the kids healthy.”