Rheumatic Heart Disease is more prevalent in First Nations Australians
World Heart Day is on 29 September, and advocates and groups will raise awareness on how to protect our hearts. However, statistics show that Rheumatic Heart Disease (RHD) is a disease of inequity, affecting almost exclusively Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, particularly children and young adults in remote areas.
RHD is a condition that starts from a throat infection, and if not treated properly, it could lead to Rheumatic Fever, and consequently, to RHD. The treatments are painful, long, and expensive.
Organisations such as the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Heatlh Organisation (NACCHO) an End RHD are raising awareness about the condition in First Nations communities, and are developing programs and a vaccine to eradicate the disease. The Federal government earlier this year, commited $35 million dollars on research and a vaccine to disappear RHD.