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Traveller Focus Week - improving health and wellbeing


Public Health Agency (PHA)

Subject Keywords: Traveller community
Set: Chronic Conditions
Coronary Heart Disease (CHD)
Chronic Airflow Obstruction (CAO)
Catalogue: Research and Evaluation
Other Outputs
Type: News
Region: Northern Ireland

Members of the Traveller community and their support organisations joined the Public Health Agency (PHA) and the Health and Social Care Board at an event in Dungannon to mark Traveller Focus Week (5 - 11 December) by sharing the progress made, and celebrating good practice in meeting the health and wellbeing needs of Travellers. These needs were identified in the 'All Ireland Traveller Health Study' by University College Dublin in June 2010. It estimated that there are 3,905 Travellers living in 1,562 families in Northern Ireland, and the stark findings include that when compared with the life expectancy of the general population, male Travellers lose 15 years of life and females lose 11 years.The report made a number of recommendations, including:prioritising mother and children's health; enhanced preventative work for respiratory and cardiovascular disease, as well as  better risk detection and management of the disease;  development of primary care interventions  which involve Travellers  engaging with other Travellers in health improvement;engagement of men and young men in improving health and wellbeing and  access to healthcare.Speaking at the event, Mary Black, Assistant Director of Public Health (Health and Social Wellbeing Improvement) PHA, said: "The Public Health Agency works in partnership to promote health and wellbeing and reduce health inequalities."This event with the Travellers Health and Wellbeing Forum was an important  opportunity to look at progress against agreed priorities and share good practice across Northen Ireland and the successful work of the Forum.  One such example is the recruitment of Travellers into employment as health workers developed by the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust and part-funded by the PHA. Other areas are also considering work placements and all of this developing practice will help inform future partnerships with employers and help break down the real prejudice that can be experienced by Travellers."We also heard about the progress Travellers have made in their own right, and their views about how the Travelling community is fully engaged and participates in the future development of the Forum and programmes that aim to improve health and wellbeing and contribute to a more equal society." Mark Donahue, Equality Officer, An Munia Tober (a Traveller support organisation), added "The event was a great success in terms of highlighting the main health issues for Travellers, which came out of the All Ireland Traveller Health Study. I was heartened to see a great turn out by the Traveller community from all over Northern Ireland and also by the interest and commitment of so many public agencies and other organisations to work together to improve Traveller health."The event, at 'Breakthru' in Dungannon, also brought together representatives from the five health and social care trusts, Cooperation and Working Together (CAWT), Housing and key voluntary sector organisations, all involved in delivering the recommendations from the 'All Ireland Traveller Health Study'.





Rights: © PHA
Suggested citation:

Public Health Agency (PHA). (2011) Traveller Focus Week - improving health and wellbeing [Online]. Available from: [Accessed: 21st July 2018].


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