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Pilyii Papulu Purrukaj-ji (Good housing to prevent sickness)

A study of housing, crowding and hygiene-related infectious diseases in the Barkly Region, Northern Territory
Housing and health Infectious diseases First Peoples health Northern Territory

This report provides a case study of Tennant Creek and the surrounding Barkly Region in the Northern Territory, to highlight the relationship between remote housing, crowding and infectious disease.

Key Findings:

  • Housing that is unrepaired and crowded contributes to transmission of preventable infections.
  • New housing is required to reduce current crowding, yet no new housing has been built in at least 12 years in the Barkly region. Housing repairs are often delayed.
  • In remote communities without functioning washing machines or sufficient hot water, a clinician noted the impact of unwashed clothing and bedding, leading to bad chest infections and sores.
  • An Anyinginyi clinician stated that in the past, when houses have been built, they noticed immediately a drop in scabies cases. There was also a mental change in families, and the children were healthier and happier.
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