Health professionals from the African community in Sydney, Australia, say cultural barriers prevent people from seeking medical care.
When Rachel made an appointment for a Pap smear, she didn’t expect to be turned away. When he realized that the wait was too long, the doctor left without seeing her.
The receptionist tried to stop GP, but GPNo, I’m done for the day. I was very depressed, I was very sad“, Rachel says. After recommendations, the young woman decided to consult a specialist of African descent, and this choice was very useful.
“When I met this GP who looked like me, he helped me a lot. I thought someone was actually listening to how I was feeling“, Rachel says.
Access to culturally appropriate care is an issue these physicians are trying to address.
A great idea for a healthy future
The Australian Human Rights Commission has prevented Africans from receiving treatment because of a lack of access.
She created “African Health”A network of health professionals of African descent, from general practitioners to psychologists and dentists.
“Our goal is to engage with the community to improve health literacy and eliminate fear or embarrassment in seeking health care.“, explains Dr. Alum Sheela Vywoth, Africa Health Director.
“People feel safer talking to a health worker from a similar cultural background“, explains Dr. Cordelia Oyegan-John, the other director of African Health.
Most of the doctors on the service are based in the state of New South Wales, but the organization’s directors plan to expand its reach across Australia and New Zealand and provide even more healthcare resources.
“In the future, we would like to offer more health workshops where members of the community can get together and have the opportunity to ask questions of health professionals.“, explains Dr Oyegan-John.
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