TEACHING students about issues like rheumatic heart disease is effective and will go a long way.
This was the view of St Anne's Primary School principal Sister Akeneta Maravu following the first class of RHD awareness in their school yesterday.
The RHD Awareness Week school workshop began yesterday in all schools around Fiji — a Rotary Club Suva, Ministry of Health and Ministry of Education initiative to increase awareness in schools during RHD Awareness Week.
"It is very important for young children to know about rheumatic heart disease because it affects them especially," Sister Akeneta said.
"When they know, they will look after themselves and also, they can also teach their parents too about it."
She said the students paid attention to the RHD teaching, portrayed to them through pictures, diagrams, songs and poems.
They learnt what rheumatic fever and RHD is, what causes it, actions to take and how it is treated.
"We hope that they will implement what they have learnt when they go home. As a school, we too will be doing all we can to make our school safe and clean to reduce the risks of RHD."
RHD is the most common acquired heart disease in children in many countries, especially developing countries.
RHD is a chronic heart condition caused by rheumatic fever. Rheumatic fever is caused by a preceding group A streptococcal (strep) infection which can be treated with antibiotics.