County Longford Traveller Primary Health Care Project is supported through the Traveller Health Unit structure and is operating since 2003. The project is peer led initiative allowing primary health care to be developed based on the Traveller community’s own values and perceptions to achieve positive outcomes with long-term effects. The project ensures that Travellers are central to their own care and delivery of health and personal interventions resulting in increased engagement and user satisfaction.
The project currently consists of seven Community Health Workers and two Community Development Workers; all members of the Traveller community, and a Project Coordinator. The overall aim of the project is to improve the health and well-being status of the Traveller community across the county of Longford.
The model of Primary Health Care for Travellers requires engagement with health service providers, and effective Traveller participation to address the specific and collective needs of the Traveller community. The work of the Primary Health Care Project is based on outreach work in the communities across county Longford with Traveller families and individuals.
The project contributed to the All-Ireland Traveller Health Study. This document was published in 2010 and is a valuable guide to the health needs of Travellers in Ireland. Since the publication of this study some progress has been made, but the Traveller population in Ireland still face significant health inequalities and challenges. Traveller health inequalities have been well documented over the past few years, the ESRI (2017) publication ‘A Social Portrait of Travellers in Ireland’ , the 2017 National Traveller – Behaviour & Attitudes Survey and the National Traveller & Roma Inclusion Strategy (2017). These publications identify that addressing the root cause of health inequalities, requires an understanding that health is determined by complex interactions between social and economic factors, the physical environment and the individuals behaviours. Our project operates within the social determinants of health framework which recognises that many factors impact health including education, employment, accommodation and living conditions.
We can be contacted through our Facebook page, you can request a call back or call Yvonne Canning on 087-6524767 or email email@example.com