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Smith K, Beever W
The Wells Men's Check (WMC) resources were developed by the Tristate STD/HIV project with wide consultation and input from male Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal health workers practicing in Central Australia. The Tristate Project came into being as a response to the high rates of STI's in central Australia and potential for an HIV epidemic. Key result areas of the project include:
The aim of the 'Well Men's Check' is to increase access to health care by Aboriginal males in Central Australia. Community men have received the concept of 'Well Men's Checks' positively. This is largely attributed to the extensive consultation process that took place in the development of resources. These checks provide a crucial starting point in changing behavioural patterns in Aboriginal men seeking health treatment and care. The aim of the 'Well Men's Check' resources is to facilitate Aboriginal Health Workers to conduct health checks on all men over 15 years of age in their community. The use of diagrams on the form and flip chart were designed to support varying degrees of literacy. Ideally these checks are to be carried out on a yearly basis to monitor changes in health status and initiate early intervention.
The resources include a form for recording the check-up (based on the adult health check in the Central Australian Rural Practitioners Association (CARPA) Standard Treatment Manual) and a flip chart. The flip chart is designed to help practitioners explain to men what will be happening during the checks, giving reasons behind the individual checks, ideal ranges for blood sugar levels and blood pressure etc, and brief intervention messages. It can be utilised either for group use, or one-to-one education in the clinic.
WMC resources have been distributed to all health services and clinics in Central Australia. Training in the use of the resource is being coordinated by the Sexual Health Unit, Central Australian Remote Health Development Services and Ngaanyatjarra health Service. Training is aimed at male AHW's, RAN's and community men and takes place at Men's Health workshops.
This excerpt is reproduced with kind permission of the Northern Territory Disease Control Bulletin from the article: Smith K, Beever W (2001) Well Men's Check. Northern Territory Disease Control Bulletin;8(4):16-17.
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