News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search

 

Rate of rheumatic fever requires comprehensive remedy

Shocking rate of rheumatic fever requires comprehensive remedy
 
The New Zealand Medical Journal has just reported on a study carried out in Northland revealing third-world rates of acute rheumatic fever amongst children.

This preventable disease is associated with poverty, poor access to health care and household crowding, and is an important cause of disability and premature death.

Acute rheumatic fever is now rare in most developed countries, but New Zealand it is relatively common.
 
CPAG spokesperson Professor Innes Asher says that “it is shocking that every week new children are admitted to hospital in New Zealand with this preventable disease which can permanently damage a child’s heart, whereas it is virtually unknown in comparable countries like Canada and the UK.”
 
There are high levels of socioeconomic deprivation, unemployment and one-parent families in Northland.  The rates of acute rheumatic fever there are amongst the highest in New Zealand, and disproportionately impact on Māori children.  Of 114 confirmed cases of acute rheumatic fever, 95% were Maori children, and 63 of these children resided in the most deprived decile.
 
In other parts of NZ, such as Counties Manukau, Pasifika children suffer even higher rates of rheumatic fever.
 
CPAG spokesperson Dr Nikki Turner said “The children in these families are clearly disadvantaged through growing up in poverty and this has lifetime consequences.”
 
Dr Turner said “The solution is equally clear.  Families must have access to adequate income, decent housing and primary care services if they are to protect their children from diseases associated with poverty.”
 
Professor Asher insists that “more is required to address rheumatic fever than the school sore throats programme already underway and funding of the development of a future vaccine.  The underlying causes must also be addressed boldly.”

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 
Gold For RNZ: Muslim Post-9/11 Series, Kim Hill Win In New York

The Radio New Zealand podcast series Public Enemy has won a gold award for excellence for its presenter, Mohamed Hassan, at the prestigious New York Festival Radio Awards announced in Manhattan today. RNZ National’s Saturday Morning host, Kim Hill, also received a gold award for Best Radio Personality. More>>

Human Rights Commission: Give Nothing To Racism

A campaign urging New Zealanders to give nothing to racism and refuse to spread intolerance has been launched by some of the country’s most well-known people. More>>

Louis Vuitton Series Win: Emirates Team NZ Will Challenge For The America’s Cup

By beating Artemis 5-2 they now take on Oracle Team USA in the America’s Cup match starting next weekend. More>>

ALSO:

Monterey: Rodger Fox Big Band Invited To Celebrated Festival

The Rodger Fox Big Band has received an invitation to perform at the 2017 Monterey 60th Anniversary Jazz Festival in the USA in September of this year. More>>

AntARTica: Scientist’s Painting Discovered In Antarctic Hut

The New Zealand Antarctic Heritage Trust has discovered an almost perfectly preserved 118 year old watercolour painting among penguin-excrement, dust and mould covered papers found in an historic hut at Cape Adare, Antarctica. More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: Set In Stone

Tthere are over a thousand public war memorials scattered around the country, commemorating over 30,000 New Zealanders who have died in wartime, and most of whom are buried overseas. More>>>More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • CULTURE
  • HEALTH
  • EDUCATION
 
 
  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland