Over the last two years Coles and Bunnings have provided valuable and practical support towards the sustainable elimination of blinding trachoma. Trachoma is an infectious eye disease that can lead to blindness. Trachoma still occurs in some remote Aboriginal communities making Australia the only developed country to still have blinding trachoma.
Bunnings contributed over 250 large safety mirrors and mirror accessories and Coles provided more than 7,000 ‘Good Hygiene Bags’ which were distributed in South Australia, Western Australia and Northern Territory. These mirrors and hygiene products were a real boost to health promotion activities conducted by nurses, Aboriginal health workers, teachers, early childhood staff, environmental health workers and other program supporters coordinated by Indigenous Eye Health at the University of Melbourne.
Large safety mirrors are essential as many children in remote Indigenous communities don’t see their faces nor understand that infected eye or nose secretions can make them ill or cause blindness. The mirrors helped to prompt face washing and support consistent hygiene practices in schools, clinics and early childhood centres in these remote communities. Hygiene bags were very well received as access to and use of hygiene products is often limited in remote communities.