The relationship between infectious diseases and housing maintenance in indigenous Australian households

Publication Type:
Journal Article
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 2018, 15 (12)
Issue Date:
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© 2018 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This research aimed to identify systemic housing-level contributions to infectious disease transmission for Indigenous Australians, in response to the Government program to ‘close the gap’ of health and other inequalities. A narrative literature review was performed in accordance to PRISMA guidelines. The findings revealed a lack of housing maintenance was associated with gastrointestinal infections, and skin-related diseases were associated with crowding. Diarrhoea was associated with the state of food preparation and storage areas, and viral conditions such as influenza were associated with crowding. Gastrointestinal, skin, ear, eye, and respiratory illnesses are related in various ways to health hardware functionality, removal and treatment of sewage, crowding, presence of pests and vermin, and the growth of mould and mildew. The research concluded that infectious disease transmission can be reduced by improving housing conditions, including adequate and timely housing repair and maintenance, and the enabling environment to perform healthy behaviours.
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