Pika Wiya gains Mums and Bubs grant

MAJOR GRANT: Alan Morris, Margaret Stuart, Kerryn Dadleh and Sherie Stuart with the letter of approval for Pika Wiya's grant.
MAJOR GRANT: Alan Morris, Margaret Stuart, Kerryn Dadleh and Sherie Stuart with the letter of approval for Pika Wiya's grant.

THE PIKA Wiya Aboriginal Health Service will receive about $2.4 million over four years through a major grant from the Department of Health, addressing the healthcare of mothers and babies.

Pika Wiya will focus on extending its services in healthcare for pregnant women, new mums and their young children, and information and support for baby care and parenting issues.

Services for women and children are currently provided at Pika Wiya’s Well Women’s House, but Pika Wiya Board Chairperson Margaret Stuart said they will seek more suitable accommodation to cope with their growth in these services.

“We don’t think we can work this new program within the confines of the highly successful Well Women’s House,” Ms Stuart said.

“Having said that, it is a really exciting time for Aboriginal mothers and babies with the expansion of our service.

“It is exciting to think that we can strengthen our services in the areas of immunisation, breast feeding, nutrition, parenting and child health generally.”

Pika Wiya will gain $817,000 by June 30, 2018, before receiving about $530,000 annually for at least a further three years. The health practitioners and management have begun planning how to implement the grant as quickly as possible.

Ms Stuart congratulated staff for their enormous effort to win the funding.

“The commitment by Dr Julia Vnuk, Kate Warren and Therese McCourt to work so hard to get this grant was fantastic,” she said.

Pika Wiya’s Well Women’s House was opened in November 2013, with an aim to provide a targeted, confidential screening and support service to Aboriginal women within the community. Located at 2 Marryatt Street, the house is open from Tuesday through to Friday from 9.30am to 4.30pm.

Pika Wiya Aboriginal Health Service is located on Dartmouth Street, providing culturally appropriate health services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

In addition to Port Augusta, the organisation has clinics in the communities of Davenport, Copley and Nepabunna.