indianz.com your internet resource indianz.com on facebook indianz.com on twitter indianz.com on Google+
ph: 202 630 8439
Indian Law Online Master Degree
Advertise on Indianz.Com
Home > News > Headlines
Print   Subscribe
Rural Alaska Natives at risk due to lack of in-home water
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
Filed Under: Health

Alaska Natives who live in rural homes without running water are more likely to suffer from respiratory and skin infections, according to a study released on Tuesday.

While in-house water is enjoyed by 99.4 percent of U.S. homes, only about 84 percent of rural Alaskan homes have complete sanitation services. Of the Alaska Native homes surveyed in the study, only 73 percent had water service.

The disparity was correlated to disproportionately high rates of certain diseases among rural Alaska Natives. In some villages, infants were 11 times as likely and elders were more than twice as likely to be hospitalized for health problems.

Study authors warned that the data doesn't prove that inadequate sanitation services caused respiratory and skin infections. But when they looked at villages with the lowest level of water services, they found higher rates for respiratory infections among infants and for skin and soft-tissue infections among adults.

And in particular region with the lowest level of in-home water service, more than a quarter of all infants are hospitalized each year for influenza or for pneumonia. Infant pneumonia can lead to lifelong respiratory problems.

"Access to clean water for hand washing and hygiene is extremely important to preventing disease," said author Thomas Hennessy, M.D., director of Arctic Investigation Programs at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Without better access to in-home water for hand washing and hygiene, Alaska Natives will continue to face higher rates of largely preventable infections."

Despite the clear benefits of in-home water service, federal funding for sanitation facilities construction has flat-lined under the Bush administration. The fiscal year 2009 budget seeks $94 million for the program, the same level as 2008 and 2007.

"What we have in many of our villages, still, unfortunately, is a system we refer to as the honey-bucket system," Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), the vice chair of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee said in January during consideration of the Indian Health Care Improvement Act.

"It is not a very refined system. In fact, it is a system that, for those of us in the state, we look at with shame and say: For Alaska Natives, for Alaskans to have to rely on this as their sanitation system is offensive," she added.

The study is being published by the American Journal of Public Health. It was the result of a two-year collaboration between the CDC, the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium and the Indian Health Service.

Relevant Documnents:
CDC Press Release | Study Abstract | Full Article [requires purchase or subscription]

FY2009 Budget Documents:
HHS In Brief | GPRA Performance | More IHS Documents

Related Stories:
IHS budget sees cut in final year of Bush era (2/6)



Copyright © Indianz.Com
More headlines...
Stay Connected:

Local Links:
Federal Register | Indian Gaming | Jobs & Notices | In The Hoop | Message Board
Latest News:
Native Sun News: Pine Ridge's David Michaud wins fighting match (12/19)
Mark Trahant: Old school budgets a better deal for Indian Country (12/19)
Ruth Hopkins: Boycott a repeat offender of cultural appropriation (12/19)
8th Circuit sides with Omaha Tribe in reservation boundary case (12/19)
BIA finalizes rule to add Alaska tribes to land-into-trust process (12/19)
Obama signs measure to extend VAWA tribal provision to Alaska (12/19)
Wyandotte Nation set to break ground on $1.4M cultural center (12/19)
Man from Standing Rock Sioux Tribe charged for cousin's murder (12/19)
Opponents of Cowlitz Tribe plan appeal of gaming land decision (12/19)
Menominee Nation off-reservation casino supporters hold rally (12/19)
Bear River Band hires tribal member as casino general manager (12/19)
Column: Poarch Creek gaming is only thing working in Alabama (12/19)
Column: Wait for decision on Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe casino (12/19)
Native Sun News: Oglala Sioux Tribe inaugurates new leadership (12/18)
Walt Lamar: Cooperation helps address crime in Indian Country (12/18)
Brandon Ecoffey: Tournament shows hope of the Lakota people (12/18)
Editorial: Showing caution for marijuana sales in Indian Country (12/18)
Editorial: New York governor makes right call to outlaw fracking (12/18)
Fines for foes of Tohono O'odham Nation off-reservation casino (12/18)
New York passes over tribes for first commercial casino licenses (12/18)
Factions of Cayuga Nation in court over Class II gaming facility (12/18)
Deadline extended for commercial casino eyed by Quapaw Tribe (12/18)
Opinion: Another casino isn't answer to Connecticut's problems (12/18)
Native Sun News: Youth take on lead role in Dakota memorial ride (12/17)
Mark Trahant: NCAI launches new campaign against racist mascot (12/17)
Norm DeWeaver: Job market is a disaster zone in Indian Country (12/17)
Amanda Blackhorse: Fake chiefs and fake headdresses must go (12/17)
DOI makes $9M in buy-back offers on Coeur d'Alene Reservation (12/17)
Shoshone-Bannock Tribes see success with two bills in Congress (12/17)
Boyd Cothran: Torture justified by treatment of Indian prisoners (12/17)
Rep. Gosar faces criticism over bill that benefits Hualapai Tribe (12/17)
Navajo Nation's highest court dismisses challenge to candidate (12/17)
Column: Tribal voices often minimized in environmental debate (12/17)
Column: Chief Cliff still an undeniably spiritual place in Montana (12/17)
Native activists in Brazil protest land bill with bows and arrows (12/17)
Shakopee Tribe funds Eastern Shoshone Tribe casino expansion (12/17)
more headlines...

Home | Arts & Entertainment | Business | Canada | Cobell Lawsuit | Education | Environment | Federal Recognition | Federal Register | Forum | Health | Humor | Indian Gaming | Indian Trust | Jack Abramoff Scandal | Jobs & Notices | Law | National | News | Opinion | Politics | Sports | Technology | World

Indianz.Com Terms of Service | Indianz.Com Privacy Policy
About Indianz.Com | Advertise on Indianz.Com

Indianz.Com is a product of Noble Savage Media, LLC and Ho-Chunk, Inc.