September month to create awareness on rheumatic heart disease

Heart to heart campaign ... Adolescents living with RHD at a recent advocacy training workshop. Picture: SUPPLIED

RHEUMATIC heart disease (RHD) is more common than people may realize in Fiji.

This was highlighted by Public Health Advisor Dr Sainimere Boladuadua during the launch of the ‘Heart to Heart’ Rheumatic Fever Awareness Campaign, which will run for the month of September nationwide.

Dr Boladuadua stressed to parents and guardians that if their children complained of sore throat followed by a sore or swollen joint, they should seek medical attention.

She said the campaign which was being led by people living with and affected by rheumatic heart disease was to raise awareness about the signs of rheumatic heart fever and to encourage parents and guardians of school-aged children to seek care when needed.

Dr Boladuadua said if the disease in a child was picked up at an early stage and are placed on a treatment, they had a chance of living a normal and productive life.

The New Zealand Partnerships for International Development Fund is a major contributor to the RHD Program along with Cure Kids Fiji, Accor Hotels and the Fiji Water Foundation.

More on this in story in tomorrow’s edition of The Fiji Times and in our e-Edition.