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Focus on the heart

Mere Naleba
Friday, February 14, 2014

THE 54 members of the Suva Rotary Club are organising a week-long awareness campaign on rheumatic heart diseases.

Club president Andrew Hughes said the club was raising funds which would help the Rotarians visit schools to educate children on the symptoms and causes of these heart diseases.

"This is a very important charitable cause and that charity cause has everything to do with non-communicable disease which is a big problem for Fiji but in particular the cause we will be supporting will be rheumatic heart disease," Mr Hughes said.

He said the club expected to raise $100,000 to support their awareness campaign..

"I'm happy to say we are going to exceed that amount, and in order to get the message across to all students in Fiji, we need to visit all schools in the country," he said.

Mr Hughes said the club was working in partnership with the Health and Education ministries.

"RHD affects children. It is a NCD and it is a condition which affects children in Fiji which eventually leads to cancer.

"The mortality for RHD is very very high and one child out of 30 dies from this disease every year."

The club has also planned a RHD week to be held from June 2 to June 7.

"The theme of the week will be 'a sore throat can kill you'. The objective of the week is that everybody in Fiji learns what RHD means," Mr Hughes said.

The club members has also welcomed four new members — acting NZ High Commissioner Mark Ramsden, BSP Life Insurance head of operations and information technology John Stanbridge, QBE Insurance general manager Matthew Kearns and Total (Fiji) Limited's Sylvaine Quemeneur.

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