DFN: Telehealth Clinics for Rural Communities

We are delighted to announce that we now have 44 functioning telehealth clinics, providing healthcare and social support for impoverished communities in rural areas.

17 year old Neha recently arrived at one of our rural Good Shepherd Telehealth centres seeking help. Discovering that Neha was pregnant, the Community Health Worker referred her to Liya, one of our social workers.

Liya learned that Neha was the victim of a forced and abusive relationship with a much older man, a man of influence in her village. When Neha disclosed her pregnancy to him, he denied his relationship with her and demanded she terminate the pregnancy.

Neha was confused and scared. Her father is an alcoholic and distant, and her mother died when she was just 9. Shortly after she died, Neha began working as a hired hand in field work. With no-one looking out for her, her life was one of significant abuse and exploitation even before the current relationship. When Neha was confronted with the choice of termination or destitution, she came to our Good Shepherd Health clinic in desperation.

Liya helped Neha explore various options and gave her the courage to hope for the best. Neha was given legal aid to file a police case against her exploiter. The man was booked under sexual assault but was able to make bail. Through the remainder of her pregnancy, Neha received essential emotional and medical support from the local Telehealth staff, and access to our nutrition and feeding programs.

Recently Neha gave birth to a healthy baby boy thanks to the presence of this Good Shepherd clinic.

Neha and her baby are bonding well. Today she is receiving much needed support as she learns newborn care for her precious baby. Despite all her trauma, Neha is happy, and so proud of her little boy. With the ongoing support of our team, Neha is discovering that she has value and worth, and is beginning to dream of a future and a hope.

These are two lives saved and redeemed thanks to our expansion into telehealth capability in rural areas.

This Christmas, we invite you to consider helping us re-write the stories of young women like Neha, by joining our ‘Just’ Christmas’ campaign. You can purchase a DFN calendar and track with these precious women and children throughout 2022, they make a lovely gift too! You can give a gift of hope to someone special, choosing an item from our Christmas Wishlist, or host a stall at a Christmas market at school, work or in your community, with DFN merchandise and information.
If you would like to know more, please E: info@dfn.org.au.


*Names changed to protect privacy and dignity