The Australian bushfires.

This summer’s bushfires are a disaster on a global scale. There are many layers to this tragedy and how to address these in the future. At the moment, the biggest concern is what we can do here and now.

How can I help others?

Victoria’s Premier, Daniel Andrews, has made it clear that Victoria no longer requires food or clothes donations. In fact, there’s so many of these that they’re now causing logistical issues and hindering emergency services in doing their job effectively.
You can donate to the Victorian Bushfire Appeal (a Victorian Government Initiative) at any Bendigo Bank or online. Any donation over $2 is tax deductible and 100% of donations will go towards the bush fire relief. provides a good overview of other organisations accepting donations that go towards those affected by the fires.
If this an option for you, you might want to consider offering free accommodation to families affected by the fires. The East Gippsland Council co-ordinates these offers. Email, with details of the accommodation you can provide (location, number of bedrooms, dates available), and your contact details. Online accommodation rental giant AirBnB is also offering their platform for free to families affected by the fires and those offering to host them.

What can I do for myself and my family?

A good start is to realise that we are all experiencing a disaster. We have now lost a land area to bush fires the size of Ireland. Dozens of people have died, thousands have been displaced. An estimated 500,000,000 native animals have perished. Over a thousand homes have been destroyed. And there is currently no end in sight.

Stay informed

Here’s a short list on where to get quality, up to date information:

What can I do to lessen the impact of smoke and pollution on myself and my family?

This is difficult to assess and there’s not a lot of research to guide us on this issue. During times of significant smoke pollution the best course of action is to stay home and keep the windows closed. If you do use air-conditioners, make sure you set them to re-circulate the air – otherwise you are going to end up with environmental smoke in your home. Standard air conditioners can’t filter out smoke particles as these are so small they do not get held back by the filters.
Masks are very unlikely to help children, as they won’t seal tight to the face and the children will just breath contaminated air through the gaps. For adults, special P2 masks from hardware stores may be an option but they have sold out in many places. This is probably just as well as, again, they are unlikely to help much unless you manage to achieve an excellent seal to the face. Medical supply stores may also still have some stock of ’N95’ surgical type masks which achieve similar filtration. They will likely reduce the amount of particles you’re exposed to but by no means filter all of them.
Naaman Zhou from The Guardian has written an excellent overview on our current levels of environmental smoke and masks that might be helpful to you.
As always, care for yourself and look out for others that may need your help. Particularly younger family members may pickup on the tension and apprehension that may build up without being able to put this into words. Sitting down, explaining that there are fires happening that send smoke across the country might give meaning to those fears. Letting your children know that they and their family are safe will also help alleviate fears. If you do decide to donate maybe do this together with your children to show them that fears and even big challenges like the one we are facing right now can be addressed and, eventually, overcome.
Lastly, if you experience a medical emergency dial 000 for urgent help. If your medical issue is not life-threatening but you do see your health impacted, our team at Eleanor Clinic are available as always.
Take care!

Importance of self care

Well, it’s that crazy time of year. Lots of social events and a big lead up to the New Year. It can also be a tough time of year for many other reasons. So, take a moment or two and think about yourself and how you can fit in some self care for yourself. We at Eleanor Clinic encourage and support it……you don’t need to make an appointment for this but maybe just a little reminder from our team!

To make sure, our team members have time to rest and re energise, we are all taking some holidays.

Our team is now big enough, to cover for our members on holidays so that we will stay open during the summer Holiday.

Take care!

Are you considering starting a family?

By Dr. Sarah Metcalfe

It’s well worth dropping in with us before you stop contraception.

At Eleanor Clinic our experienced female GPs can help maximise your chances of a healthy pregnancy by:

  • assessing your general health and fitness for pregnancy through a medical history and examination
  • considering the potential impact of any medications you or your partner may be taking
  • discussing lifestyle factors such as diet, exercise, alcohol consumption and smoking that may affect your chances of conception or a healthy pregnancy
  • discussing strategies for monitoring your cycle and maximising chances of conception
  • advising commencement of both folate and iodine supplements before trying to conceive
  • discussing available genetic carrier screening tests for common heriditary conditions
  • guiding you through available options for antenatal care in Victoria
  • performing blood tests to check your immunity to infection that can have negative consequences if contracted during a pregnancy and advising of booster vaccination if required

Sounds too technical? So let us worry about that side of it so you can focus on the joyous side. We here at Eleanor Clinic are an experienced team to help you through all the question of prenatal conception and pregnancy care.

Looking forward to see you here at Eleanor Clinic!

Hay fever (yes, it’s that time of year again…)

By Dr. Eunice Sales

With the warmer spring weather, trees showing green growth and flowers in bloom, have you been a little down with a runny nose that just won’t stop?

You might be suffering from hayfever or allergic rhinitis! It’s a common condition and affects about 1 in 5 people.

Apart from a runny, itchy or congested nose, you can also have sneezing and itchy/watery eyes.

Symptoms can occur in occur in spring or summer due to pollen or also all year round due to other triggers such as dust mites or animal hair. Sometimes these symptoms can lead to other problems like difficulty with sleep, headaches and difficulty with concentrating at work and school.

Treatments you can try before seeing your doctor include salt water nasal sprays, corticosteroid nasal sprays and non-sedating antihistamines.

If you’ve tried all of these and still struggle with symptoms, it might be time to see your local GP. We’re more than happy to discuss your symptoms and other treatments with you.