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Take Heart ‘Outreach In Action’

As part of Bupa’s commitment to closing the gap in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health, Bupa is supporting the Take Heart movie. The documentary film that follows the stories of four Indigenous Australians – Brooklyn (7), Trenton (8), Carlissa (16) and Liddywoo (17) – over two years and accompanies them through harrowing open-heart surgery, long-term hospital stays, and the reality of daily life with Rheumatic Heart Disease (RHD), examining the complexities involved in balancing traditional lifestyles with the demands of the modern medical system.

The film really resonated with Bupa as it explores the social, environmental and health factors that place young Indigenous Australian, Māori and Pacific Islander children in Australasia at such high risk, together with a roadmap to prevent future generations of children from being impacted by RHD.

Why Rheumatic Heart Disease?  

Australia’s First Peoples have amongst the highest rates of RHD in the world, despite the disease being preventable with one of the oldest and cheapest antibiotics – penicillin. Key risk factors for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples developing RHD include poverty, overcrowding and reduced access to medical care. And its biggest impact is felt by young children. 

Bupa’s involvement

Bupa’s role as Outreach Partner for Take Heart is to support the education and amplification of the campaign in the Top End of Australia as well as the wider community.  Bupa’s support of Take Heart has helped the development of an outreach toolkit to complement the film, providing local communities and health workers access to educational resources, screenings across the country, interactive apps and a website with essential information about the prevention and treatment for RHD.

Bupa National Medical Director, Dr Rob Grenfell, said, “Take Heart shines a light on a disease that simply should not exist in this country. Through the outreach program, we want to enable communities to identify symptoms early and seek treatment. By addressing the factors contributing to the prevalence of Rheumatic Heart Disease, we can take a significant step towards closing the gap.”

We’re partnering with Moonshine Movies, together with a coalition of partners, including RHD Australia, and the National Heart Foundation to raise awareness and help communities to take action to prevent and eliminate Rheumatic Heart Disease from the top end of Australia.  Raising awareness and sharing knowledge through initiatives such as Take Heart  is an important first step towards preventing Rheumatic Heart Disease.

Our commitment to Take Heart is to help promote the primary prevention of RHD, and to improve the life expectancy of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples with RHD in Australia.

Find out more at http://www.theblueroom.bupa.com.au/manage-and-recover/heart-health/take-heart-about-rheumatic-heart-disease

To learn more about Rheumatic Heart Disease what What is Rheumatic Heart Disease

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