Diarrhoea in Australian Aborigines

Aust J Public Health. 1992 Sep;16(3):216-25. doi: 10.1111/j.1753-6405.1992.tb00058.x.


Infectious diarrhoea has been recognised as a serious public health problem for Aboriginal Australians, particularly infants and young children, for more than two decades. These diseases are caused by bacterial, viral and parasitic infections which are spread mainly by the faecal-oral route and which must be interrupted if prevention is to be effective. This paper reviews published reports on this subject and interventions which have been used elsewhere to reduce the incidence of infectious diarrhoea. These reports have important implications for Aboriginal health but interventions and strategies to overcome this problem must recognise the unique circumstances of Aboriginal people in Australia.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Child, Preschool
  • Diarrhea / ethnology*
  • Humans
  • Hygiene
  • Infant
  • Morbidity
  • Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander*
  • Nutritional Status
  • Public Health
  • Water Supply
  • Western Australia / epidemiology