By: Laura Trotta
There are so many things I love about living in Roxby Downs. The strong sense of community, friends that have become my family, kid-friendly atmosphere, wide open spaces, everywhere I need to go is within a ten minute walk, and the peace and quiet that comes with living in the country.
But the main downfall of living here is the limited access to medical services. Any condition requiring specialist treatment means a trip to Adelaide, 600kms away.
Despite having South Australia’s highest birth rate, the absence of birthing facilities in town means women are advised to leave town at 36 weeks gestation to “camp out” the rest of their pregnancy in Adelaide, or wherever their family support network is (for me it was Melbourne). Quite an expensive and disruptive undertaking, especially if bub is not the first addition to the family.
But despite complaining about this fact, Roxby women generally take it in their stride – it is what we do. Part of the trade off for our easy lifestyle I suppose.
Things get tricky however when baby decides to arrive early. Women who go into premature labour in Roxby are usually flown via the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) to the nearest hospital with the capacity to care for a premature baby – typically Adelaide’s Women’s and Children’s Hospital.
The RFDS is the lifeline for remote communities like ours. Flying into Roxby Downs on average every three days*, it is evident that this is a much needed and utilised service of our community. And with approximately 10% of all Australian infants born preterm every year, one could assume that women in premature labour would make up a considerable proportion of this number.
When Sustainababy was recently asked to both contribute to fundraising efforts for the RFDS and research by the University of Adelaide to overcome negative aspects of premature birth, we jumped at the opportunity.
Sustainababy has donated items for the auction held in Roxby Downs today for the Royal Flying Doctor Service. We also donated a gift voucher for the Dare to Dream Dinner for premature baby research held in Adelaide earlier this month. The purpose of this dinner was to fund new therapies that will help preterm infants overcome learning and movement difficulties associated with their premature birth.
We are proud to have contributed to these important fundraising efforts. It’s our way of helping to keep our local community’s lifelines alive.
* The RFDS made 137 flights to Roxby Downs in 2010