Seventy-seven women braved the cold night last Wednesday to listen to speakers discuss menopause, breast care, underwear, foreign health care and a comedy routine.By Elaine Cooney
The sound of women’s laughter could be heard from the main street of Dingee last Wednesday thanks to an entertaining health evening.
The event, organised by Elmore Primary Health and the Dingee Bush Nursing Centre, aimed to provide women with vital health information as well as a chance to socialise and promote Dr Adel Asaid’s introduction to the Dingee Bush Nursing Centre.
Seventy-seven women braved the cold night to listen to speakers discuss menopause, breast care, underwear, foreign health care and a comedy routine.
General women’s health doctor Ewa Piejko was first to take the stage and focused on menopause.
She introduced the women to the seven menopause dwarfs: Itchy, Bitchy, Sweaty, Bloaty, Sleepy, Forgetful and Psycho.
Sounds of recognition and head nodding were the general reaction from the audience, most of whom were over the age of 50.
Dr Piejko said menopause was a ‘‘challenging time’’ because it sometimes coincided with dealing with adult children and their issues as well as caring for ageing parents.
She advised women to wear layers; curtail caffeine and spicy food; avoid hot showers and carry a hand-held fan or facial spray to help ease the discomfort of hot flushes; a common menopausal symptom.
Dr Piejko went into detail about the pros and cons of natural and hormonal treatments to reduce symptoms.
Breast care nurse Kat Ritchie, who also specialises in Mirena IUD contraception, spoke about how women can look for changes in breasts and spoke about the IUD contraceptive device.
Dr Ritchie’s matter-of-fact presentation had the crowd in tears of laughter but also relayed a strong health message about breast checks.
Some women left with lifted breasts following a talk by lingerie stylist Rachel Ross.
As well as delivering a humourous approach to wearing the right bra, she fitted and sold several bras on the night.
Fourth year medical student Saada Malouf delivered a gut-wrenching speech on health care in Uganda following a volunteer aid visit last month.
Seeing what was available in the third-world country made Ms Malouf vouch to ‘‘never ever again complain about the medical care Australians get’’.
She was appalled at the ration of doctors to patients and the poor facilities.
Ms Malouf said in the largest hospital, the public ward doctor was only available for two hours a week for the entire patient population.
She showed slideshows of the conditions at the hospital.
‘‘There were 10 beds in a ward where we would have four,’’ she said.
‘‘There were 17 women on mats on the floor and when they started crowning they were moved to the birthing room.’’
Ms Malouf wants to return again next year with extra malaria supplies for the hospital’s patients.
She said among the saddest things she saw in Uganda was watching a young boy die from malaria because there was no medication left, treating an abandoned nine-hour-old baby and trying to communicate with a mother whose child was starving to death because her husband did not consider feeding the child a priority.
Following Ms Malouf’s tear-jerking talk, comedian Monica Dullard had the job of lifting spirits.
She found hilarious ways to cover serious women’s health topics such as breast health, communication, menopause and incontinence.
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