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Improving the oral health of Indigenous children

Posted on November 5th, 2019

The oral health of thousands of Indigenous children will be improved after volunteers packed 10,000 oral health kits for quick delivery across NSW.

The Poche Centre for Indigenous Health hosted over 100 volunteers at the University of Sydney on 30 October for the annual health kit packing day where 10,000 child health kits were collated and packed into boxes.

The kits were then distributed to schools, community organisations or Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services across NSW.

Volunteers included University of Sydney staff, students and alumni, government organisations, community health organisations, private enterprise and four ADA NSW staff.

In each kit was a toothbrush, toothpaste, hard plastic storage container, clear water bottle, health promotion resources, colouring-in book and pencils. The bag is a waterproof back sack that can be used to store these items.

Kits were delivered to schools, community organisations or Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services across NSW ranging from metropolitan Sydney to Northern, Central and Southern NSW. The kits are provided to children in conjunction with oral health education programs.

The event was organised by eight Poche staff and one staff member from Public Health and two from the Sydney Medical School who assisted in preparing the stock to be packed into boxes.

ADA NSW Head of Communications and Public Affairs Kate Miranda said it was a very worthwhile cause to be involved in. “It is practical initiatives supported by education that will change behaviour and ultimately improve the oral health of those in need. The Poche Centre has a great track record for implementing evidence-based programs and building workforce capacity in Indigenous communities,” she said.

The first packing day was held in 2014 and since then more than 55,000 health kits have been packed for distribution to children across NSW.

The partner for this project is the NSW Centre for Oral Health Strategy (COHS).

(Photos by Maja Baska)

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