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Affordable Housing The Key To Good Health

Affordable Housing The Key To Good Health

New Zealanders would have fewer health problems if there was an adequate supply of affordable, healthy housing, says The New Zealand College of Public Health Medicine.

College president, Dr Julia Peters, is calling for a long-term housing plan that prioritises the provision of affordable, healthy homes.

"That would improve New Zealanders' health across the board and help to reduce health inequalities," she said.

Dr Peters said New Zealand has seen devastating epidemics of infectious disease, such as the Meningococcal B disease in the 1990s, that have been closely linked to over-crowded housing, and which took a very expensive vaccination campaign to resolve. Along with many other health professionals, public health physicians and other public health professionals were involved first-hand in attempts to manage that outbreak and research its underlying causes.

"We could generate another similar epidemic if we do not address healthy housing as a fundamental requirement of a healthy population."

Dr Peters said New Zealand's poor record in acute rheumatic fever is also likely to be related to poor housing conditions.

"Investing in affordable, healthy homes, would more than pay its way in reduced long term healthcare costs for the country."


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