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Governments hold long-overdue meeting on reducing early death from rheumatic heart disease
Date:5/22/2013

Today, at the World Health Assembly, top health officials from New Zealand, South Africa, Australia, Fiji and Rwanda met to discuss the vital need for countries to integrate rheumatic fever (RF) and rheumatic heart disease (RHD) prevention and control into national action plans.

"RHD was nearly eradicated in wealthy populations at least 50 years ago but today it remains as a disease of poverty that kills children, adolescents and young people in their most productive years, said Dr K. Srinath Reddy, President of the World Heart Federation.

RHD is estimated to kill more than one person every two minutes and it remains the most common cardiovascular disease in people aged younger than 25 years. It is a neglected NCD that is predominately associated with poverty the prevalence of RHD is more than five times higher in Sub-Saharan Africa and three times higher in the Pacific and Indigenous populations of New Zealand and Australia than among those who live in wealthy populations, in children aged 514 years. Moreover, in the resource-poor settings where RHD is more prevalent, up to 12.5 per cent of people that develop the disease could be dying each year. But, RHD is preventable through low-cost interventions delivered through basic health services.

"RHD control programmes are cost-effective," continued Dr Reddy. "Today, only a handful of countries, or regions within countries, have adopted these programmes. As member states consider the first Global Action Plan on non-communicable diseases (NCDs), we urge countries where RHD is prevalent to consider integrating plans to tackle this devastating disease in national NCD plans."

Ending Neglect of RHD: The World Heart Federation 25x25<25 Campaign

The World Heart Federation 25x25 campaign calls for multi-sectorial action to reduce premature CVD mortality by 25 percent by 2025. To ensure the relevance of this goal to the world's most marginalized and vulnerable populatio
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Contact: Charanjit Jagait
charanjit.jagait@worldheart.org
41-228-070-334
World Heart Federation
Source:Eurekalert

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