Fiji Time: 7:25 AM on Friday 28 August

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.

Westpac
Code Inward TTs Outward TTs
CAD 0.62450.6055
JPY 56.810253.8102
GBP 0.30290.2949
EUR 0.41450.4025
NZD 0.73480.7018
AUD 0.66190.6369
USD 0.47110.4541

from

$0.00

Exchange Rate updated on 27th August 2015

Today's Most Read Stories

  1. Guns in town
  2. Sayed-Khaiyum responds to Karavaki warning
  3. PM turns down Ratu Naiqama request
  4. Sixteen accused plead not guilty
  5. Parliament meets behind closed doors
  6. Smith tips the Flying Fijians
  7. Drug bust
  8. Church firm on ideal
  9. Leptospirosis death
  10. Contestants light up the night

Top Stories this Week

  1. Bus accident claims one life Friday (21 Aug)
  2. Armed force Friday (21 Aug)
  3. Fall crowned queen Sunday (23 Aug)
  4. Birth by the river Tuesday (25 Aug)
  5. Deadly impact Saturday (22 Aug)
  6. Guns in town Thursday (27 Aug)
  7. Sayed-Khaiyum responds to Karavaki warning Thursday (27 Aug)
  8. Making the cut Monday (24 Aug)
  9. Shanal aims for Flying Fijians jumper Friday (21 Aug)
  10. Military, police beef up manpower Tuesday (25 Aug)