Kununurra is a rural town in the Kimberley region of Western Australia. This year Dr Ryan Holmes has been doing some work at the Ord Valley Aboriginal Health Service (OVAHS) which is the local Aboriginal Medical Service in Kununurra.
There is only 1 Indigenous outpatient medical service in Kununurra and the closest major hospital is Perth, which is a 3.5 hour flight away. This means that the local GPs have to provide
most of the health services to the local Aboriginal community, without much Specialist support.
We are trying to raise $5,000 to buy OVAHS a Smileyscope (https://www.smileyscope.com.au/). This is a virtual reality headset that is used in healthcare settings to help reduce fear and stress, particularly in children, during medical procedures (such as needles and injections).
The local community in Kununurra have a high incidence of Rheumatic Fever (RHF) and Rheumatic Heart Disease (RHD). RHF is an inflammatory disease that develops from
inadequately treated bacterial Streptococcal infection (e.g. Strep throat, Strep skin infections,
Scarlet Fever). If inadequately treated, RHF can result in inflammation of the heart (RHD), which can ultimately turn into heart failure. RHF and RHD are common in Aboriginal children in the Kimberley region, and about 27% of patients who develop RHD will end up in heart failure.
The main method to prevent RHD in children with RHF is monthly injections of penicillin into the arm or buttock. These injections are very painful and are required for 5-10 years after the initial diagnosis of RHD.
Because these injections are painful and required every month, you can imagine that kids don’t
want them! A Smileyscope makes the procedure a lot more bearable and therefore results in
better compliance with injections and ultimately less heart failure cases in kids in the Kimberley.
More details about the Kununurra AMS can be found here and details about the SmileyScope can be found here.
We initially had hoped to raise $5000 dollars by Christmas. However we are amazed to share after Sonia was interviewed on 2GB with Ben Fordham this morning, the generosity of the listeners and everyone else who donated has actually raised us over 25 thousand dollars!!!! As a result we are expanding the gofundme to supporting other clinics in the Kimberley region with more VR headsets and other vital equipment needed for Aboriginal Health Services in the Kimberley and other parts of Australia. Sonia is currently working in the Kimberley so we will share updates as we begin the process of buying this equipment, and we are completely blown away by the generosity of our fellow Australians.
Our beneficiaries are currently in the process of providing us with the vital equipment they need and Dr Ryan is liasing with the SmileyScope company to arrange multiple headsets for various clinics.
Well we did it! We are so appreciative for the many people who have donated, we have now raised enough funds to get 6 Smiley Scopes for 6 different practices throughout Western Australia! We are currently in the processes of organising the distribution and will provide an update when finalised! Thank you all
- GoFundMe Team
- John Thompson
- Margaret Bowering
- Kristy Holten
- Rebecca Medd
Fundraising team (2)
Bondi Junction NSW