On average women living in rural and remote areas of NSW experience poorer general health, reproductive and sexual health outcomes than people living elsewhere in the state. These poorer outcomes include higher rates of teenage pregnancy, higher rates of maternal death, and higher rates of some sexually transmissible infections (STIs).
All rural/regional LHDs have significantly higher teenage fertility rates than the State’s average (7.7 per 1,000 teenagers), with the rate in Western NSW LHD being more than two times higher. Further, the rate in Bourke and Walgett Local Government Areas are 12 and 9-fold higher than the State level and are significantly higher than metropolitan areas.
Adolescent pregnancies have major health and social consequences, with pregnant adolescents at higher risk of eclampsia, puerperal endometritis and systemic infections during pregnancy. Adolescent mothers are also at increased risk of exposure to domestic violence, financial stress and education disruption, reflecting the need of equitable access to contraceptive services and comprehensive sexuality education.
Women living in rural and remote areas also experience higher rates of maternal, neonatal and fetal deaths when compared to metropolitan areas. This is a wider reflection of the poorer fertility and maternity services available in these areas.
At present sexual health services are accessible from major regional cities such as Orange and Dubbo. Access to women’s health services are typically intermittent and unreliable in smaller rural and remote town which reduces utilisation or fails to ensure services are available when women need them. The services typically lack follow-up and continuity of care capacity.
Theory of Change
Delivering reproductive and sexual health care and education using a Nurse-led mobile clinic will increase engagement of women with sexual and reproductive health and provide them with increased access to reproductive care reducing the rate of teenage pregnancy.
Increase in reproductive health literacy among women and girls
Increase use of long-acting contraceptives
Long Term Outcomes
Reduction in teenage pregnancies
Increase Health Literacy
Participation in Workshops
2 February 2024
NOTE: Funding for the Clinic was announced in January 2024 and services will commence in the middle of the year.