Advancing Healthcare for the people of North Shore, Rodney and Waitakere

New mobile health clinic arrives

Friday 28 October, 2016

Plans to reach more kids in need

It was a thrilling day for the Well Foundation and Waitemata District Health Board (DHB) yesterday with the official launch of a brand new mobile health clinic to enable DHB public health nurses reach more vulnerable children living in some of the most deprived communities in the Waitemata district.
Credit: Waitemata DHB comms advisor Hinerangi Vaimoso

Well Foundation CEO Andrew Young with the Raki family, Tania, Etua and Shantelle

With the help of the local community we raised $210,000 for the new clinic which will be used by DHB public health nurses in schools, early childhood centres and other public spaces to provide ear check-ups and treatment, throat swabbing as part of the Rheumatic Fever Prevention Programme, general health advice, treatment and referrals.

It replaces one of the DHB’s two current clinics which are almost 18 years old and mechanically unreliable. It has a self-sufficient power supply, meaning nurses no longer need to run a power lead to use it and will be able to access new areas and locations in the community, assessing and treating new patients.

With the old clinics previously only used in West Auckland suburbs and some areas of Rodney, the new clinic enables the DHB to expand the service to the North Shore. It will be used for monthly clinics at Te Puna Hauora, a medical and community support service based in an area of North Shore where there are pockets of poverty and need.

“We couldn’t ignore the opportunity to take on a fundraising project like this which will help so many and we continued to be amazed by stories during our fundraising about children and families who have benefitted, sometimes in a life changing way from visiting the clinic,” says Well Foundation CEO, Andrew Young. “Knowing this new clinic will enable more people to get help when they need it is so rewarding for the foundation and its supporters.”

More kids like Etua to benefit

Eleven year old Etua Raki is just one of many children we met who has been helped in the mobile health clinic.

Last year Etua was taken by his mother Tania to one of the mobile health clinics after failing a school hearing test and struggling to keep up in class. It was at the mobile health clinic that one of the public health nurses removed a piece of lego and tiny toy battery from his right ear, which had likely been there for years.

Etua still has a long road ahead of tests, treatment and possibly surgery to try and reverse damage caused by the foreign objects, but without the mobile health clinic service being available and easily accessible for Tania and her kids, it could have been many more years before Etua got help – when damage could have been much worse.

“The early intervention care this mobile health clinic offers is so important, particularly with a growing population of 153,000 children aged up to 19 years living in the district,” says Waitemata DHB Chief Executive Dr Dale Bramley “It has proven to break down barriers that typically stop people from accessing health care when they need it and often before a small health problem becomes a big one. The new clinic is better equipped to handle future demand and will allow us to reach more vulnerable people.”

We’d like to say another big thank you to everyone who got behind us to make this clinic a reality, including major supporters, The Trusts Community Foundation, ProCare Charitable Foundation, Newman’s Own Foundation and various Rotary clubs.

Click below to watch a clip on 1News about the new clinic and Etua's incredible story.

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