High asthma rates in the southern Yorke Peninsula will get extra support through the appointment of a local Asthma Community Connector support person.
People living in the Yorke Peninsula are finding it harder to breathe than most with asthma rates much higher than state and national averages – equal to almost one-in-six, compared to one-in-eight state-wide and one-in-nine nationally.
Vicki Hill of Country Health Connect said the South Yorke Peninsula has been struggling on a day-to-day basis with asthma and there is a need for extra support to help locals breathe easier.
“We hope the creation of this role will reduce Accident and Emergency presentations and admittance to hospital and generally support people to live well with their asthma,” Ms Hill said.
First developed in the Mid North by community members with asthma, the new Yorke Peninsula service, titled the Asthma Community Connector, will help people in Minlaton, Yorketown, and surrounding areas. The project will employ and train a local person living with asthma to help people recognise and manage asthma. Other paid roles will also be available to help the Asthma Australia team and promote the project.
CEO of Asthma Australia Michele Goldman said it can be simple things that stop people from breathing well.
“Don’t put up with not being able to breathe well. Improving your breathing could be a matter of a few simple steps. The first step to getting better is talking about it. Asthma is one of those conditions that can remain hidden and behind closed doors, so to speak. I encourage people to speak to the Asthma Community Connector to see if we can help.”
Glenda Woodward, a Respiratory Nurse of Country and Outback Health, added, “I see it as such a good opportunity for the Southern Yorke Peninsula community to find out more about managing asthma and connecting with people with similar concerns.”
Country SA PHN is funding the program. Chief Executive Officer Kim Hosking said it is pleased to be able to extend the success of the Mid-North project by expanding it to the people of the Yorke Peninsula.
“Listening to local stories and providing strategies and solutions based on community need is the most effective way of delivering primary health care improvements,” said Ms Hosking.
“Empowering individuals to effectively support their health and become partners in their own care in turn increases the whole community’s health literacy.”
The triggers for asthma are wide ranging and unique for each person living with the condition, but for those on the Yorke Peninsula common causes include farming practices, including widespread grain cropping, pollen, dust, and cold and dry weather.
If you would like to get involved in asthma support in the Yorke Peninsula, in a paid or volunteer role, or want more information on the Asthma Community Connector role, contact Michelle Davis from Asthma Australia, on firstname.lastname@example.org or 08 8238 9323.
The Yorke Peninsula’s Asthma Community Connector has been made possible by funding from Country SA PHN (Primary Health Network), which also funded the Mid-North project.
For more information, visit: https://asthma.org.au/what-we-do/current-projects/asthma-in-regional-south-australia/asthma-community-connector-yorke-peninsula/