WACHS preventative child health program

The WA Country Health Service (WACHS) is launching a new primary preventative child health program for vulnerable children aged from birth to five years and their families.

Where appropriate, contact should be made with families in the antenatal period to establish rapport.

The Enhanced Child Health Schedule (ECHS) aims to support families to raise healthy children with optimal development and wellbeing who are ready to commence school.

The ECHS focusses attention on common health issues associated with poor social determinants, including ear, eye, oral, respiratory and skin health, and nutrition, especially iron deficiency anaemia.

WACHS Community Health staff offer up to an additional ten child health checks in addition to the six universal (purple book) checks already offered between birth and school entry. The purpose of the extra checks is to provide support and monitoring, early identification of health and development issues, and appropriate, timely referrals.

Staff will encourage parents and carers of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children to attend their GP or Aboriginal Health Centre to have their annual Medicare item 715 completed as appropriate.

Vulnerable families who require this additional support can be referred to the local Community Health team.

For further information, contact Leonie Hellwig, Program Officer Community Health

Leonie.hellwig@health.wa.gov.au or 6553 0910