A healthy housing environment. (NT Department of Housing, CIA McDonald and CI Currie).
Overcrowded living conditions, particularly increased exposure to young children (unpublished) is linked to otitis media (OM) in Indigenous infants. The Healthy Homes Living in a House Program (LIAHP) aims to increase capacity to maintain a safe and healthy housing environment, to improve the health and wellbeing of community members through enhanced life skills such as improved cooking, nutrition, safe food storage and cleaning. CRE members are partners in the evaluation of this program.
OM and hearing loss outcomes would provide a valuable addition to track health of Indigenous children living in remote housing.
This information will strengthened the LIAHP and improve the sustainability and capacity of the program to deliver improved child health and wellbeing, including reductions in OM and hearing loss.
Mixed methods of data linkage at aggregate level and qualitative interviews in community will be used. OM and hearing data will come from new Hearing Health Information Management Systems (HHIMS) and OM surveillance research data since 1992.
Current investment in housing in the absence of effective training and maintenance programs has the potential to fail remote communities. Research is needed to evaluate efficacy and enhance programs to achieve sustainable healthy living environments and practices that improve child health. Indigenous research leadership is critical to sustain a program in this field.