With restrictions in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic, CEH’s Multicultural Health & Support Service (MHSS) has successfully taken it’s community education programs online, delivering peer education programs and engaging with the community using platforms such as Zoom.
Originally planned as face-to-face sessions scheduled to begin in March, the Indian Peer Education Project was paused while we all navigated the new terrain of COVID-19 and the challenges it presents for community engagement.
Adapting to new modes of online technology, MHSS delivered 16 peer education sessions to 252 Indian community members over August, September and October. These sessions were delivered by peer educators recruited from the Indian community and trained by CEH.
Research has shown that peer-based programs are highly effective and facilitate important changes in health-related behaviours among CALD communities.This project builds on the work of MHSS to develop partnerships and community centric education programs.
The aim of this project was to increase the educational capacity of the community around BBV/STIs and create a sustainable culturally appropriate peer education through consultation.
Through an initial round of community consultation, 6 key topics were identified as community priorities. They were;
- Understanding the Australia Health care system
- Sexually transmitted diseases
- Hepatitis B and C
- Healthy relationships
- COVID-19 and mental health
The sessions were enthusiastically received by participants;
“I loved the ease with which the facilitators spoke, and the patience with which they went through the session and answered questions.”