During the Australian national ‘Women’s Health Week’ held in September, a number of seminars on women’s health issues were organised by Sathya Sai International Organisation of Australia & PNG (SSIO) as a service to its members and the general community.

Women’s Health Week is an initiative of the Jean Hailes for Women’s Health Organisation, a national not-for-profit organisation promoting women’s health, since 2013.

This year through the SSIO Ladies Program coordinators in collaboration with the Sai Medical Unit, regions and groups organised information sessions for women all over Australia during the week and soon after.

This was a further expansion of the Australian Sai Medical Unit’s involvement in locally promoting health care and awareness, whilst incorporating Human Values principles in the topic, to members and the general public. Preventive health care advice and promotion plays a crucial role in public health and is one of the components of the activities that ‘Sai Ideal Health Care’ delivers globally.

The seminars adhered as closely as possible to the 6 principles emphasised by Sathya Sai Baba in his discourses on health care delivery and which are practised in the several health care facilities and medical camps established by his organisation, including super-specialty hospitals. That is, health care provision that is timely, preventative, state-of-the art and comprehensive, made available to all people free of charge and most importantly, delivered with compassion.

The SSIO’s activities were registered with the Jean Hailes organisation who, apart from including the programs on their website, also provided additional support material in the form of packages of information sheets on women’s health issues for distribution to the participants.

There were 8 Women’s Health Week events held in Australia by the SSIO. Health professionals both from within and without the SSIO worked with the Regional Ladies Program teams over the last 6 months to make this event professional, comprehensive, effective and very successful.

Each region had its own unique program based upon its resources and specific needs. The information sessions were carefully designed to be relevant, informative and cover all ages of women.

The sessions encompassed a broad range of topics. For example; common gynaecological issues, health screening, mental health, relationship issues, mindful eating, exercises for wellness and empowering women. The topics were delivered with visual aids, models and some had small group hands-on workshops.

The seminars were attended by SSIO members and members of the general public. Around 400 women from various ethnicities and cultural groups benefited from the comprehensive, tailored sessions. The feedback from participants indicated the programs were relevant, very useful and informative with the seminars conducted in a manner in which the environment was open, warm and friendly. There was no inhibition to ask questions and with sharing, many were able to learn from each other. Many indicated they would like to have more seminars in future with an expanded range of topics. Also mentioned was the compassion and fellow-feeling the coordinators, speakers and the many volunteers demonstrated that helped to make these events so successful.

A special thank you to all those who joined with our people from the SSIO who shared their expertise and professionalism in presenting such valuable material to all those ladies who came to the various seminars.

Programs included engaging, informative lectures
Health screening was undertaken at a number of sessions
Hands-on physical health-related exercises
The day’s activities were a valuable opportunity to meet and explore common interests and concerns
An important part was played by volunteers welcoming, registering and distributing information packages during the day