The Healthy Kids Bus Stop visited Lake Cargelligo from 9 – 11 May, where a record 77 children were assessed over the three day period. The Bus Stop saw children from the Lake itself and Murrin Bridge, and also from Tullibigeal and Condobolin.

The Healthy Kids Bus Stop is an integrated ‘whole of child’ health and developmental assessment and pathway to care program for children aged three to five who live in rural and remote communities. It aims to improve their health and wellbeing through the early detection of lifestyle risk factors, delayed development and/or illness.

Of the 77 children, 50 (65%) were referred for further follow up. This was a drop from 90% in 2015 – a very encouraging indicator that child health and wellbeing is improving in the Lake Cargelligo area. Importantly, these referrals provide a pathway to care to ensure that these children can receive the ongoing support they need, either through local medical resources in their area, or via Royal Far West’s Paediatric Developmental Program or Telecare service.

The excellent attendance rate for this Bus Stop is testament to the commitment and hard work of the local health staff, local community and schools in Lake Cargelligo. Their support and involvement in arranging bookings and ensuring attendance was central to the success of the program.

The Healthy Kids Bus Stop was brought to Lake Cargelligo courtesy of Royal Far West, in partnership with the Murrumbidgee Local Health District, the Murrin Bridge Aboriginal Health Service Incorporated and Ronald McDonald House Charities, with funding support from Auscott Limited.

Murrumbidgee Local Health District Chief Executive Jill Ludford said that the program provided the opportunity to connect a child’s local GP with the Child and Family Health Nurse and other local and specialist services, giving a whole picture of a child’s health and developmental needs. “The Healthy Kids Bus Stop visit brought together a range of health service providers from across the region. Welcoming the bus to Lake Cargelligo ensured our local children were able to access this important health screening program which can have a huge impact on their future health and education outcomes.”

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