A HEALTH fair took place on Friday (June 7) to take into account women who are 'often overlooked by public health services', to show them what support is available to them as carers, parents and homemakers.

The health fair, which took place at Clarence House in Newport on Friday, June 7, was organised to show the women what support is available to them and get a health check screening and answer any questions they may have about diabetes, mental health and wellbeing, cervical screenings, unpaid carers support and more, while speakers also translated the messaging into languages such as Bengali, Urdu and Punjabi.

KidCare4U, a charity which supports ethnic minority families to develop themselves in education, health & integration, brought together over 50 women from five different ethnic backgrounds to reduce health inequalities within diverse ethnic groups.

South Wales Argus: Speakers were briefly introduced at the health fayreSpeakers were briefly introduced at the health fayre (Image: KidCare4U)

Rusna Begum, chief executive officer at KidCare4U, said the idea stemmed from multiple conversations with women who attend the charity's services, to make sure they are caring for themselves as much as they care for their husbands, children and families.

Representatives from Newport City Council, Aneurin Bevan University Health Board, Diabetes UK and Muslim Doctors Cymru attended the fair and gave tips and advice to women from diverse backgrounds on managing conditions like diabetes and dementia, where to go for support if you are an unpaid carer, how Newport is playing its part to end period poverty, and how to encourage conversations which might be embarrassing or uncomfortable.

South Wales Argus: Speakers from the Muslim Doctors Cymru Speakers from the Muslim Doctors Cymru (Image: Newsquest)

Ms Begum gave one example of food, and said: "Us as women, we make food for our families. This type of event is about how we can learn from each other to make the food we give them as healthy as it can be."

Ms Begum added: "Often times we make food full of unhealthy stuff but making simple swaps like using cooking oil can have similar results with more health benefits."

South Wales Argus: KidCare4U's Rusna Begum addressing the women from diverse backgrounds and introducing speakersKidCare4U's Rusna Begum addressing the women from diverse backgrounds and introducing speakers (Image: KidCare4U)

The event began with an introduction from the public health services such as how a specialist nurse from Diabetes UK advocates having cakes and sweets in moderation as a celebration, in a bid to manage the condition instead of taking extreme measures.

A menopause clinic specialist signposted where women can go to discuss the changes happening within their body and how to deal with symptoms of peri-menopause, while a school nursing and immunisation service offers Gwent-wide help on how to deal with behavioural problems in children and young people, daytime and night-time bedwetting, and dietary concerns for 4 to 16-year-olds.

South Wales Argus: Speaker at Clarence House health fayreSpeaker at Clarence House health fayre (Image: KidCare4U)

Specialists from the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board offered support for those who wanted to find out more about symptoms of early onset dementia and things that can deter dementia, which the specialist said "is not a normal part of ageing unlike what many people believe".

Ms Begum said "we tend to go to the doctors or GP, but there are more services out there which can be quicker to use."

South Wales Argus: Speaker at Clarence House health fayreSpeaker at Clarence House health fayre (Image: Newsquest)

Women that attended the fayre were able to speak to female gynaecologists within the NHS about cervical screening concerns and how an uncomfortable experience could save lives.

Newport City Council representatives at the fayre gave the women an opportunity to highlight what matters most to them and where they can go if they need support, by signposting to a directory of community groups as Newport Community Connectors.

South Wales Argus: Speaker at Clarence House health fayreSpeaker at Clarence House health fayre (Image: Newsquest)

One approach, outlined by the World Health Organisation, is known as the Period Dignity Project which aims to provide free period products to those in need.

The council reps also highlighted that they can help residents with the new rules on voting, which the over 50s demographics may not be aware of.

South Wales Argus: Live Well Hub at the health fayre at Clarence HouseLive Well Hub at the health fayre at Clarence House (Image: KidCare4U)

Many women from these diverse groups may avoid speaking to a psychology health practitioner on mental health and wellbeing, even though they are juggling many things which are high pressure and stress.

Afshan Morgan, a multilingual psychological health practitioner, aims to engage patients by giving them the tools they need to thrive in many situations by relating to the patients and offering support in their own languages.

The practitioner said many women with South Asian backgrounds can be reluctant to see a specialist when it comes to brain health due to language barriers or community stigma, but Ms Morgan said it can be as simple as offering breathing techniques that they can use to help them cope with situations more effectively.