Factors supporting sustainability of a community-based scabies control program


  • Li-Chuen Wong, MB, BS. Beth Amega, RN. Ruth Barker, FRACP. Christine Connors, FAFPHM. Mary Elizabeth Dulla. Angela Ninnal. Margaret Mary Cumaiyi. Loyola Kolumboort. Bart J Currie, FRACP.

Dr Li-Chuen Wong, Skin and Cancer Foundation, Darlinghurst, 277 Bourke St, Darlinghurst, NSW 2010, Australia. Email: owong@gtjl.com.au


Scabies remains a major problem in Aboriginal communities within the Northern Territory of Australia. Secondary skin infection with Group A streptococcus (GAS) is very common and post-streptococcal disease rates remain high. Treating families in isolation will have only limited success, as reinfection frequently occurs as a result of the high levels of movement between households and communities. We describe the results of a successful community intervention to reduce scabies and GAS skin infection in one of the largest Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory, 15 months post-intervention, and we discuss factors that have led to the success and sustainability of the program.