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New tools to help prevent the burden of rheumatic heart disease amongst children
Date:5/7/2014

ertaken a large scale audit of different RHD surveillance processes in Auckland to better understand their strengths and weaknesses, as well as identify children with or at risk of developing RHD.

As a result of this audit, over 500 children with definite or probable ARF were identified in Auckland through a range of these complementary methods. There is a necessity to have high quality and all-encompassing processes to identify as many cases as possible of ARF, which can prevent the deaths of hundreds of children every year.

"Rheumatic heart disease is responsible for the deaths of thousands of young people under the age of 25 each day around the world and cannot be ignored. New Zealand is at the forefront when it comes to RHD prevention and our study shows the important role that efficient surveillance tools can play to avoid the devastating consequences of acute rheumatic fever being left untreated," said Professor Diana Lennon, Department of Paediatrics: Child & Youth Health, The University of Auckland.

Finding and preventing the burden of RHD in India

RHD continues to be a problem in India, but despite this it is overlooked as a public health priority. A study organised by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) established 10 registries between 2000 and 2010 to look at a range of factors, which contribute to RHD, including biology and the existing health infrastructure. In addition, the registries undertook a wide range of prevention activities across India, including community health education campaigns, additional training for medical teams and prescription of oral antibiotics.

The results of this large study show that the use of this registry-based prevention programme in existing healthcare settings works well and is a practical and achievable means of preventing and controlling RHD, which can ultimately lead to fewer deaths in children across India. The study also illustrates the challenges in obtaining repres
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Contact: Alissa Gutteridge
agutteridge@dnamedcomms.co.uk
44-788-005-2940
World Heart Federation
Source:Eurekalert

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