Thank you for helping us to end Rheumatic Heart Disease (RHD) in Australia!
Rheumatic heart disease (RHD) starts with a Strep A infection of the throat or skin. If
untreated, the infection can lead to acute rheumatic fever (ARF) which can feature sore joints, fever and heart inflammation. While the other symptoms of ARF go away the heart damage can remain, and this is known as RHD. If not managed properly, it can cause heart failure, disability or death.
In developed nations around the world, economic development, improved living conditions and access to health care have all but eliminated RHD.
But in Australia, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people continue to live with one of the
In response to this urgent and unacceptable situation, critical work is being done by RHDAustralia at Menzies School of Health Research to help end RHD in Australia, including the Champions4Change program.
What is the Champions4Change Program?
RHDAustralia’s Champions4Change is a culturally responsive and safe Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander led program, designed and delivered by and for those with the lived experience of Acute Rheumatic Fever (ARF) and/ or Rheumatic Heart Disease (RHD). The Champions4Change program brings together people living with RHD and their communities to raise awareness about ARF and RHD and how they can be prevented.
Champions are willing and able to:
- share knowledge about culture and health care, relationships and health access.
- act as patient advocates and help connect patients and their carers to health services and local resources.
- learn and teach others about ARF and RHD
- promote the importance of early prevention, treatment, and management of ARF within their communities.
- help RHDAustralia develop culturally appropriate and responsive ARF/RHD resources.
If you are interested in knowing more, here is the link to the RHD Australia website: https://www.rhdaustralia.org.au and Champions program and stories
On National Close the Gap Day 2022 the Take Heart: Deadly Heart film, was released, demanding immediate action to end RHD. Take Heart: Deadly Heart was
made by working closely with children, family, communities and health experts.
Their stories show you that by investing in community-led initiatives and
prevention programs, RHD is a problem that can be solved.
You can follow the Take Heart Deadly Heart campaign here.
For a deeper understanding of the issues surrounding RHD, here's a link to the recent Four Corners episode which exposes the realities of RHD in Australia