The Dragonfly Story

Indigenous Children

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A high incidence of Otitis Media is not restricted to Australian Indigenous children alone, for example research has shown that the North American, Indian, Canadian and the Maori children of New Zealand also experience high incidence of CHL/OM in their early childhood. While it’s difficult to identify all the factors which contribute to a high incidence rate of CHL/OM in Indigenous children, in 1975 suggested that under nutrition, crowded living condition, lack of medical attention especially in remote areas and the exposure to passive smoking may contribute to the high occurrence of CHL/OM in Indigenous children. At the same time research in the United States has shown that non-Indigenous children who attend child care centres are up to 5 times more at risk of suffering repeated occurrences of Otitis Media and conductive hearing loss, this increase in risk is thought to be linked to children who attend such centres, being more at risk of exposure to bacterial and viral agents that could respiratory disease. While we now recognise that the occurance of CHL/OM in Indigenous children is high and is steadily increasing in non-Indigenous children, in many cases it may still go undetected.