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Working to create a healthier Bali

Thursday, 25 October 2012

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Smoking is a major health concern in one of Australia’s favourite holiday destinations.

ECU students are part of a program aiming to educate people about the dangers of smoking, and other health related issues, through the Bali Workplace Program.

Currently in its third year, the program gives ECU health science students the opportunity to address health issues in the Balinese community over a three-week period.

By working with local community radio station Heartline FM and students from Bali-based Udayana University, students developed community radio messages which highlight the dangers of smoking and HIV/AIDS.

 “Acknowledging the source of tobacco smoking and peddling by tobacco companies is a fantastic first for Bali,” Health Promotion Lecturer and Program Coordinator Jill Darby said.

“We are really excited that our students are leading the way in educating the Balinese community on the dangers of smoking and other health related issues.”

ECU student Melanie Mcternan headed to Bali this year with the program, further investigating the stigma associated with HIV and AIDS.   

 “I was given the task of evaluating young people with HIV/AIDs, their risk behaviours and stigma presented by health professions and others in the community.” Melanie said.

“After talking with people from all walks of life, I learned that cases of HIV/AIDS are still on the increase in Bali, with young people still taking part in risk activities which can spread the disease.”

Students were enriched, during their stay, with the local cultural and language experiences including supporting the local Cruise Ship employment program, sharing conversational English and taking part in hospitality training with the local students.

The Bali workplace program is an ongoing initiative open to ECU health science students.

To take part in the next Bali workplace program contact program coordinator Jill Darby on j.darby@ecu.edu.au.

More information can also be found on the ECU website.

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