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Australian Indigenous HealthBulletin Alcohol and other drugs knowledge centre Yarning Places

Fruit restores hearing for the Aboriginal children of Baryulgil

Date posted: 23 May 2012

A fruit-based nutrition program in an Aboriginal community has provided a cure to chronic suppurative otitis media, a disease that causes deafness.

Doctor Ray Jones, from the Bulgarr Ngaru Aboriginal Medical Corporation, has restored hearing to the majority of children of Baryulgil with daily doses of fruit.

Nine years ago, only 40% of the children at the local school had normal hearing.

Dr Jones introduced the fruit-based nutrition program after finding the children were all deficient in Vitamin C.

The results were dramatic. ‘Within three years 80% had normal hearing,' he said.

‘The kids have been basically fed well at school for the last nine years and now we rarely see ear infections, we rarely see skin infections and any other types of illnesses.'

Andrew Black, a physician working with Dr Jones, is now writing a research paper on the program's success.

Dr Jones hopes it will attract the attention of authorities with the power to expand the program to other remote communities.

The Federal Government has funded the Clarence Valley program and its expansion to the mid north coast areas of Macksville, Bowraville and Coffs Harbour.

Source: ABC North Coast New South Wales


Last updated: 4 June 2012
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