PLEASE get your children tested for rheumatic heart disease as early as possible.
This is the plea from Nadi resident Roberta Nadruku. The mother of two who was diagnosed with the debilitating heart disease in 1994 after giving birth to her first child.
She was among a group of rheumatic heart disease victims at the Namaka Health Centre who was visited by a team of medical professionals from Australia, New Zealand and the United States on Wednesday.
"It became difficult for me to do a lot of things because of shortness of breath and feeling weak," the 40-year-old shared.
"But God was so good and after two miraculous operations in 2000 and 2008, I now have two synthetic valves in my heart and apart from not taking part in strenuous sports, I live a pretty much normal life.
"My message to all parents is if your child has a sore throat, take your child to the doctor and get antibiotics prescribed."
Melanie Windus Fiji project co-ordinator for Open Heart International said June 2 to June 6 was Rheumatic Heart Disease Week and the focus this year was on prevention.