Media information For immediate release
Date: September 12, 2008
Healthy Advice Offered To Refugees And New Migrants
A new relationship has seen communications channels open between the local health sector and one of its hard-to-reach communities.
Waikato District Health Board and Waikato Migrant Resource Centre are working together to share health information benefiting the Waikato migrant community's health and wellbeing.
Waikato DHB director of media communications Mary Anne Gill offered to help the Migrant Resource Centre with its newsletter, sent regularly to its service users in various languages.
As part of the partnership, Waikato DHB sponsors the newsletter's design and printing in return for space to promote health messages to its migrant population.
Waikato DHB's Visual Communications unit produces the newsletters in-house.
The latest newsletter is currently in translation into Korean, Somali, Cambodian, Chinese and Spanish.
"The more traditional methods of communication such as community newspapers and radio were inappropriate in this case. We needed to find a way to communicate and so this was the obvious answer," she said.
Health messages in the newsletters to date have included how to make your way around the ever-changing Waikato Hospital campus, keeping your babies warm in winter and how to access influenza vaccinations - all translated into the native tongue of the Migrant Resource Centre's service users.
"Living in New Zealand can be very isolating if you do not speak English," said Migrant Resource Centre director Rebecca Fraser.
"It is hard to find out what is on and hard to get important information that you need. The newsletter is just one way we work to make sure people are able to read or hear something in their own language that may be useful to them.
"The feedback we have had is that people definitely find the health information useful."
Other information provided in the newsletter includes a 'what's on in Hamilton?' section, information about important initiatives and meetings, plus other topical information, one of which has recently been elections.
The newsletters are available electronically on www.wmrc.org.nz and www.waikatodhb.govt.nz
Amy Thomsen Communications Consultant Waikato District Health Board Mobile: 021 712 663 Fax: 07 834 3673 www.waikatodhb.govt.nz
About Waikato District Health Board and Health Waikato: Waikato DHB is responsible for planning, funding and providing quality health and disability support services for the 353,460 people living in the Waikato DHB region. It has an annual turnover of $915 million and employs more than 5300 people.
Health Waikato is the DHB's main provider of hospital and health services with an annual budget of $530 million and 4500 staff. It has seven divisions across five hospital sites, two maternity and continuing care hospitals and 21 community bases offering a comprehensive range of primary, secondary and tertiary health services.
Other Waikato DHB-funded health services - including primary health, pharmacies and community laboratories - are delivered by a wide range of independent providers.
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