Raising awareness of rheumatic fever

Health Minister Jonathan Coleman welcomes the start of the 2016 rheumatic fever awareness campaign.

“Rheumatic fever is a serious disease which usually starts with a sore throat and can lead to lifelong heart problems,” says Dr Coleman.

“Reducing the incidence of rheumatic fever has been a priority for the Government. Latest figures released in March show rates have dropped by 45 per cent since 2012.

“This shows the $65 million investment the Government has made to prevent rheumatic fever is making a real difference to the young people, families and communities most at risk.

“The latest rheumatic fever awareness campaign which launches today will build on this momentum as we strive to reach the BPS target of reducing rheumatic fever rates by two-thirds by the end of June 2017.”

The rheumatic fever awareness campaign will run until the end of August – it includes TV, radio and online advertising.

The campaign is supported by a range of initiatives that have been put in place to help tackle rheumatic fever.

To date, more than 50,000 high risk young people have accessed sore throat drop-in services. A Pacific Engagement Service has worked with more than 41,000 Pacific families in Auckland and Wellington. Each year over 3,000 families in high incidence areas benefit from Healthy Home Initiatives.


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Source: Ministry of Health