Trachoma trailer in action

Trachoma is the world's leading infectious cause of blindness. As the only developed nation affected by this disease, Trachoma is a significant issue in Australia that remains prevalent in our remote indigenous communities.

An interactive water trailer designed to help educate Indigenous children on the importance of healthy eyes has been entertaining and helping kids across the Northern Territory for the past 12 months and is now an integral part of the Katherine West Health Board education program. A year after Ventia helped design and deliver the MKII Interactive Water Trailer in conjunction with Rotary Clubs, Melbourne University, Monash University and our client INPEX, local communities in remote Northern Territory communities are seeing the benefits. 

General Manager Resources and Industrial West Mark Williamson says not-for-profit providers like Life Education NT along with the Katherine West Health Board are utilising the trailer in creative ways. 

Life Education NT, through their Healthy Harold program, deliver a 45-minute trachoma health education session at schools," Mark says. "The kids then put what they learned about the 6-steps into practice and then play a series of games to reinforce what they learned. At the end each child is provided with a towel that they're encouraged to use as part of their regular hygiene practices.


trachoma trailer - face washing

Most recently the Health Board held a school holiday program in Lajamanu, Kalkaringi and Daguragu, where up to 40 children per community engaged with the trachoma trailer. 

"Amongst all the excitement it can be difficult to deliver structured sessions," Mark says. "The team covered the 6 steps first, followed by getting the kids to blow their nose, wash their hands and face and then play some games."

A key part of these visits is the health team watching out for kids who have a snotty nose or gunk in their eyes to ensure they have a clean face before leaving.

Mark says the Water Trailer made an appearance at the Big Rivers AFL match in Lajamanu in August, which is another great way to get kids used to seeing it and benefiting from the lessons they've learned. 

trachoma trailer face washing

Trachoma often starts in childhood and can be easily transmitted between children. Repeat infections from childhood can lead to blindness by the age of 30. Teaching children about good hygiene thorough face-washing and handwashing is an important way to eradicate this preventable disease. 

The Water Trailer is designed to gamify hygiene practices with lights and music. The interactive games teach children about the importance of hygiene, also incorporating a light water spray for children to actively engage in face-washing practices.