A joint initiative of the University of Sydney’s Poche Centre for Indigenous Health, the South Sydney Rabbitohs, the NSW Centre for Oral Health Strategy, and Colgate, Souths Cares encourages young indigenous children to eat well, drink well, clean well, play well and stay well.
“We’re delighted to be teaming up again for the Souths Cares program to promote better oral health in Aboriginal communities,” says Kylie Gwynne, Director of the University of Sydney’s Poche Centre for Indigenous Health.
Rabbitohs player Nathan Merritt and Rhys Wesser, former State of Origin and Rabbitohs Fullback, who is now a Souths Cares Mentor, will be delivering Oral Health Care sessions and football clinics to 1,500 students from the communities of Casino, Grafton, Coffs Harbour, Macksville and Kempsey.
Indigenous and non-indigenous oral health students sponsored by The Poche Centre will assist clinical staff from the Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services and the Mid North Coast Local Health District with delivery of health promotion and oral assessment checks.
“This is our third collaboration and the program to help close the health gap in health differences between indigenous and non-indigenous Australians,” says Ms Gwynne.
Untreated dental decay rates are more than twice as high among Aboriginal Australians compared to non-Aboriginal Australians.
“Aboriginal children suffer preventable dental problems,” says Ms Gywnne. “The Souths Cares program is an important way to deliver education, and teeth and gum screening to encourage children to eat well, drink well, clean well, play well and stay well.”
The Poche Centre’s Centre for Oral Health Strategy is a NSW state wide oral health initiative promoting better access to oral health programs and evidence-based strategies to deliver oral health services.
Established by the University of Sydney in 2008 thanks to a generous donation by the philanthropist and Aboriginal health advocate, Greg Poche, The Poche Centre aims to help improve the health and life expectancy of Aboriginal people.
SOUTHS CARES ITINERARY:
Tuesday, 2 December
9.15am: Casino West Public School, Oral Health Education Session and Football Clinic
1.15pm: Gillwinga Public School, Grafton, Oral Health Education Session and Football Clinic
Wednesday, 3 December
9.30am: Toormina Public School, Coffs Harbour, Oral Health Education Session and Football Clinic
12.45pm: Macksville Public School, Macksville, Oral Health Education Session and Football Clinic
Thursday, 4 December
9.30am: Kempsey South Public School, Oral Health Education Session and Football Clinic
Leellen Lewis, Souths Cares Programs Manager, 0411 800 526
Dan Gaffney, University of Sydney, 048 100 4782