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Tagai and NPA young person’s health checks prove a success

3 August 2018

Young person’s health check programs held at the Thursday Island Tagai State College secondary campus and across the Northern Peninsula Area last month (July) proved a big success.

Senior Public Health Officer Mario Assan said 128 students undertook the health check at the Tagai campus, with another 206 screened in the Northern Peninsula Area.

Mr Assan said the screening program had targeted young people aged between 15 and 29 years old and had been undertaken by the Torres and Cape Hospital and Health Service’s Men’s and Women’s Health Program.

“We did some extensive stakeholder and community engagement prior to running the health check program and this proved the key to gaining strong support and ensuring a high participation rate,’’ he said.

Mr Assan said the health checks included screening for sexually transmissible infections (STIs).

“Young people in this age group are the most at risk of getting STIs and yet also the least likely to have regular health checks, so this program is a good way of encouraging them to be checked,’’ he said.

“The health checks at the Tagai campus are conducted annually through a partnership between the Torres and Cape HHS primary health care program and the Tagai College.

“In the Northern Peninsula Area, we enlisted community peer recruiters to encourage other young people to participate in the program.

“The peer recruiters played a crucial role by promoting the health checks program, engaging with their peers and recruiting young people to undertake the tests.’’

Mr Assan said incentives also helped encourage young people to attend, with vouchers and Tshirts available at the Tagai campus, while NRL jerseys and store vouchers were available for participants in the NPA.

“Everyone that completed the health checks was eligible for the incentives,’’ he said.

“The young person’s health check is really quick, taking around 10–15 minutes, and involves looking at chronic disease risk factors, as well as sexual health risks.

“The purpose is to identify any health issues early and treat young people as soon as possible.

“The health checks are a really effective initiative to engage young people in health services, especially focusing on preventative health.’’

PHOTO CAPTION:  Health workers Mark Dorante – left – and Tyrome Zitha with Thursday Island Tagai College student Stanley Assan – centre – with his incentive voucher and T-shirt.

Last updated: 4 October 2018