Fiji Time: 9:20 PM on Tuesday 27 January

Fiji Times Logo

/ Front page / News

Heart ills a crisis

Dawn Gibson
Friday, March 07, 2014

IN Fiji, there are about 60 deaths a year because of rheumatic heart disease (RHD), something which has been labelled a "crisis" by the Health and Education ministries and their new partner, the Rotary Club of Suva.

The Pacific region, including Fiji, has some of the highest rates of the disease globally, a report drafted by Health Ministry chief pediatrician Dr Joseph Kado revealed.

He said the prevalence of RHD in Fiji in children between five and 14 years was 35.4 per 1000 people.

"That means that 3.5 per cent of children have definite or probable RHD," said Dr Kado's report.

"RHD is the most common cause of heart disease in children and young adults.

"It often starts mild, but can develop into a life-threatening illness."

Dr Kado said RHD was a chronic disease of the heart valves that followed an episode of acute rheumatic fever.

"Acute rheumatic fever occurs when the body produces a strong immune response to a throat infection caused by a particular type of bacteria — Group A Streptococcus (strep throat)."

Dr Kado said most strep throat infections would get better without developing further into rheumatic fever, but in some cases where it was left untreated, the throat infection could cause the heart, joints, brain and skin to become inflamed and swollen.

"If this inflammation causes scarring to the heart valves, the affected person can develop RHD."





Fiji Times Front Page Thumbnail

Kaila Front Page ThumbnailFiji Times & Kaila Frontpage PDF Downloads

Use the free Acrobat Reader to view.

Today's Most Read Stories

  1. Old market to turn into live fish shop
  2. FRCA terminates officers
  3. New-look bus station plans
  4. Four in custody
  5. Project a success
  6. $18m arrears
  7. Spotlight on shipping company
  8. Bus operators clarify student fares
  9. School to provide the best
  10. PAC seeks answers

Top Stories this Week

  1. Breaking the silence Wednesday (21 Jan)
  2. No payout for police Wednesday (21 Jan)
  3. Opposition challenges PM to walk the talk Friday (23 Jan)
  4. 'No money' in 2004 Wednesday (21 Jan)
  5. Disappointment at late posting of graduate teachers Wednesday (21 Jan)
  6. Ten days time Thursday (22 Jan)
  7. PM's apology to Fiji Saturday (24 Jan)
  8. Things you didn't know about Kuridrani Monday (26 Jan)
  9. Ba retains title Monday (26 Jan)
  10. Old market to turn into live fish shop Tuesday (27 Jan)