1 Mar 2018

Mould threatened refugee health on Nauru

5:57 pm on 1 March 2018

A mould problem in Australia's refugee detention centre on Nauru posed a serious health threat, a microbiologist says.

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Photo: 123rf

In 2014, Cameron Jones was hired by the centre's operator from which at least a dozen former staff are reported to have developed medical problems.

As well as the staff quarters, refugee tents were covered by mould along with something call black yeast, he said

"The black yeast infections are an emerging worldwide health threat," Dr Jones said.

Adult onset asthma and cognitive impairment were amoung conditions those exposed to the mould could develop, he said.

"Certainly inner ear infections, I noted multiple samples of inner ear drops in some of the asylum seeker tents.

"I would imagine that there are numerous health problems and I can olny imagine this is why I was not allowed to talk to any members of the medical staff," Dr Jones said.

No significant mould problem was found on Nauru last year, according to Australia's health and saftey regulator.

But the Guardian reported that recent photos showed mould remained prevalent across the centre.

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