Rheumatic Fever Prevention in New Zealand
Rheumatic Fever Prevention In New Zealand, the disease is largely confined to the upper North Island. The Indigenous Maori and Pacific Islander populations are predominantly affected. Together, this group comprises almost one third of New Zealand’s youth.
As part of the new results-driven focus of the public service, the Government of New Zealand has committed to reducing the incidence of Rheumatic Fever.
The outcome is a new cross-government prevention programme designed to “stop sore throats hurting hearts”.
“New Zealand has taken the bold step of implementing a primary prevention programme.” ~ Professor Nigel Wilson
We’re being Heroes…
At Polyfest – a youth festival celebrating New Zealand’s Islander culture – there is an information tent and a youth ambassador group working to raise awareness about rheumatic fever.
“My name is Melesiu Ula, and I’m 17 years old. I am Tongan, full Tongan.”
“Our ambassador group is trying to find an easier way to explain to little kids what Rheumatic Fever is. So we’re trying to get it out there that Rheumatic Fever is caused by a sore throat, so we try to make videos and everything we can do to help more kids not get Rheumatic Fever.”
“So yeah, we’re being heroes.”
Watch the Take Heart short film Closing the Gap on Rheumatic Heart Disease
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