Young persons’ health checks successful
19 July 2019
Young persons’ health checks conducted in the Torres Strait and Northern Peninsula Area over the past two months have proved very successful.
A total of 353 young people aged between 15–29 years were screened as part of the health checks at the Tagai Secondary Campus on Thursday Island, at Badu Island and the Northern Peninsula Area’s five communities of Bamaga, Seisia, New Mapoon, Umagico and Injinoo.
Men’s and Women’s Health Program Coordinator Maleta Nona said the team conducted the health checks with young people because they were the age group most at risk of getting sexually transmissible infections (STIs).
They were also the least likely group to have a regular health check for chronic conditions or STIs.
“Ensuring that young people take advantage of the screening opportunity is crucial because some STIs do not have symptoms and the only way to know if you are infected is if you have a blood and urine test,’’ Ms Nona said.
“The health check process is very quick, with the time taken to undertake the screen being just 10–15 minutes.
“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.’’
Ms Nona said a combined stakeholder and community engagement was a key strategy to gain support and approval to ensure that young people participated fully in the screenings.
“Community peer recruiters were utilised to support the health checks in the NPA and Badu Island,’’ she said.
“They played a crucial role with the development of the health checks, including promotional, engagement and recruitment strategies.’’
Ms Nona said incentives were also offered, with merchandise being available for the TAGAI campus checks, while NRL Jerseys and $30 store vouchers were made available for participants during the NPA and Badu health checks.
Everyone that completed the YPHC was eligible for the incentives.
Ms Nona said the young persons’ health checks were conducted annually through various settings, either as a whole of community screening or targeted screening such as at schools or community events.
PHOTO CAPTION: Badu Young Persons’ Health Checks – Clinical Nurse Consultant Sandra Gregson does the health check with Cyrus Morseu.