Primary Health Care
Primary Health Care Programme
The aim of Southside Travellers Action Group’s Primary Health Care Programme is to improve the health and life expectancy of the Traveller community living in Dunlaoighre Rathdown.
Travellers trained as primary health care workers provide health information directly to the community through home visits and support individual Travellers to access health services. We also run health promotion activities and workshops on key health issues, including on asthma, diabetes, heart disease and blood pressure, mental health and fire safety.
For Traveller men, we have a dedicated Traveller Men’s Health Worker, who as well as providing key health information to me, is involved in the development of the Traveller Men’s Shed and sports activities.
The Primary Health Care Programme also supports local health services to develop their understanding of Traveller ethnicity and the issues affecting the community through information talks and training. Please contact the Primary Health Care Coordinator at 01 – 2957372 if your service is interested in participating.
Health Status of Travellers
The most recent research ‘Our Geels’ The All-Ireland Traveller Health Study (AITHS) 2010 highlights the poor health status of Travellers:
Life expectancy for Traveller women is 11.5 years less than settled women in the general population. Traveller women have 3 times the mortality rate of the general population
Life expectancy at birth for male Travellers is 15 years less than settled men in the general population. Traveller men have 4 times the mortality rate of the general population
The infant mortality rate for Travellers is 3.6 times the rate of the general population.
Suicide among Travellers is 6 times the rate of general population and accounts for approximately 11% of all Traveller deaths
Southside Travellers Primary Health Care Project
“Getting information out and having daily contact with families is playing a huge part in flatlining the virus in the Traveller community,” says Maggie Connors, Traveller Community Health Worker with Southside Travellers Action Group.
“We have the trust and relationships with Travellers on the ground and I am proud that we have provided essential services to our community while keeping social distance,” says Maggie.
Southside Traveller Primary Health Care Project is one of 27 Traveller Primary Healthcare Projects operating around the country.
Traveller Primary Community Health Workers are health workers who act as liaison between the Traveller community and health service providers. The All Ireland Traveller Health Study shows 83% of Travellers receive their health information from Traveller Primary Health Care Projects.
The Southside Traveller Primary Healthcare Project is part of the Eastern Region Traveller Health Unit which covers CHOs 6, 7, & 9. Traveller Health Units prioritise Traveller health concerns and address Traveller health inequalities, on behalf of the Health Service Executive (HSE).
Useful links to resources:
‘Our Geel’s: The All-Ireland Traveller Health Study
Pavee Point: Providing Effective Health Services to Travellers – A Guide
National Traveller Women’s Health Forum: Position Paper on Gender
Irish Traveller Movement: Inspiring Traveller Men