Election 2013 Western Australia March 9

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Kids Hearing iT Matters

Hearing Loss -Diagnosis is good but fix the cause!

Kimberley Candidate Chris Maher

Poor nutrition is a root cause of high rates of hearing loss among Aboriginal children in the Kimberley. Not eating well leaves a child run down and vulnerable to virus infections. Frequent colds and runny noses block the Eustachian tube, leading to an infection in the middle ear that, if untreated, causes the ear drum to break.

We could save a lot of health service dollars and have happier, healthier Kimberley children by addressing the root cause of this issue and supported community stores across the region. All Kimberley communities with a school should have a store that provides families with affordable fresh fruit and vegetables. There is evidence of one community reducing the incidence of ear infections significantly through a nutrition program. 

Community stores are one of the Greens Royalties for Regions priorities. Bringing an ‘Earbus’ program from Perth, as suggested by Labor’s Mr McGowan, will help with ear screening and treatment but we need to tackle the causes of the problem as well.
A number of Kimberley communities already run good, healthy stores. We should see what makes those stores work well, then assist other Kimberley communities to adopt those practices.Overcrowded houses also make it harder to hang onto and prepare food for children and viruses circulate more easily in these conditions. “More and better public housing is another of our Royalties for Regions priorities.

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