Researchers from Perth’s Telethon Institute for Child Health Research examined seven years of clinical records at two communities, Jigalong and Mugarinya, in Western Australia’s Pilbara region.
The results have just been published in the latest edition of the Medical Journal of Australia.
Report co-author Dr Desiree Silva said the research team had access to the records of 131 children in Jigalong and 128 children in Mugarinya.
Dr Silva said infections were more than halved in both communities.
“After the pools had been installed, clinic attendance for skin infections dropped by 68% in Jigalong and by up to 77% in Mugarinya,” Dr Silva said.
“In Jigalong, prescriptions for antibiotics fell by 45%, clinic attendance for middle-ear infections dropped by 61% and attendance for chest infections was halved.”
Skin infections are of major concern because they can lead to chronic heart or kidney disease later in life. These diseases are very common in Aboriginal communities. Middle ear infections (otitis media) can lead to hearing loss that can affect schooling and hence opportunities later in life. Chest infections are the most common infection for which young Aboriginal children are admitted to hospital.
“What this research does is provide the evidence that pools can have significant health benefits in remote communities,” Dr Silva said.
“Aboriginal children suffer very high rates of infections compared with the rest of the community. These infections can be life threatening or lead to long-term health issues such as kidney failure.
“In addition to these positive health outcomes, the children learn to swim safely and the community receives a social hub as well as employment opportunities.”
Dr Silva said not only have the children benefited by few visits to the clinic for infections, but the swimming pools in communities had also reduced the workload in the local clinics and cut down costs of treatment with antibiotics.
“If antibiotics are prescribed less frequently then there is a greater chance of antibiotics being effective when needed and less chance of bacteria becoming resistant to standard antibiotics,” she said.
New study from the University of Halle: How climate change alters plant growth
12.01.2018 | Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg
Disarray in the brain
18.12.2017 | Universität zu Lübeck
On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.
We carry smartphones in our pockets, the streets are dotted with semi-autonomous cars, but in the research laboratory experiments are still being designed by...
What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...
For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.
Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...
At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.
No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...
Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.
Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...
08.01.2018 | Event News
11.12.2017 | Event News
08.12.2017 | Event News
22.01.2018 | Materials Sciences
22.01.2018 | Earth Sciences
22.01.2018 | Life Sciences