Ten percent of Belgian poor are forced to ‘live in filth’
4 February 2005
BRUSSELS – Some 10 percent of homes in the poorest parts of Belgium are unhealthy, according to a study reported on Friday.
Dirt, humidity and mould are five times more present in the most deprived areas of the country than in richer areas.
The investigation, by Ghent and Brussels Universities, was carried out at the request of minister Christian Dupont, who is responsible for urban policy.
He wanted to see what effect living in a deprived area had on residents’ health.
It was clear from the conclusions that those who live in Belgium’s poorest neighbourhoods suffer more physical and mental ailments than other members of the population.
The percentage of poor people living alone without any real support network is also higher than average, the survey found.
According to the researchers, one out of every four people surveyed had less than three close friends or family.
A fifth of the poor people surveyed also postponed health check-ups and visits twice as often as residents in other neighbourhoods.
[Copyright Expatica 2005]
Subject: Belgian news