Access to antenatal care for refugee and migrant women in Western Australia
Maternity services face a difficult challenge in providing services that are appropriate and amenable to the needs of refugee and migrant women. It is important that maternity services are able to identify the health and social care needs of refugee and migrant women, many of which will be hidden and complex, and be able to refer women to services that are able to support women to achieve good health outcomes for themselves and their babies. To deliver healthy outcomes for refugee and migrant women, maternity services must address the barriers of language, culture, fear, confusion and a lack of empowerment experienced by many CALD women.
The Refugee and Migrant Women Working Group (RMWWG) was re-established in 2015 by the Women’s and Newborns Health Network (WNHN) Continuity of Care Working Group (Department of Health WA) to explore how refugee and migrant women, who have recently had a baby in Western Australia, experience health services during and after pregnancy.
In 2015 the Women’s Community Health Network assisted in gathering information and evidence to support the preparation of a consumers report and in the development of a toolkit to enable maternity services to improve the accessibility and appropriateness of their services for the local refugee and migrant population. The toolkit was developed to enable maternity services and their partners to provide services that are accessible to refugee and migrant women in the community.
Many community groups supported this project including: ASSeTTS, Metropolitan Migrant Resource Centre, PlaygroupWA, Communicare, Save the Children and AMEP. The Women’s Community Health Network would like to thank them for there support and generous assistance.