Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Budget 2012: Taking on rheumatic fever

9 May 2012

Media Statement

Budget 2012: Taking on rheumatic fever

The Government’s campaign to stamp out a third world disease reached Porirua today with a new school throat swabbing programme - part of a $24 million five-year campaign to reduce rheumatic fever.

Launching the expanded throat swabbing programme at Holy Family School in Porirua with Prime Minister John Key, Associate Health Minister and Māori Party co-leader Tariana Turia said the Government was determined to significantly reduce this serious disease.

“Rheumatic fever in children is a serious issue in this area,” Mrs Turia says. “Children whose sore throats progress to rheumatic fever are significantly at risk of major heart damage later in life.

“But with proper antibiotic treatment at the sore throat stage, we reduce that risk of heart damage by up to 80 per cent.

“That’s why the Prime Minister is taking on rheumatic fever as part of his better public service challenge to support vulnerable children. And it’s why the Government, with the support of the Māori Party, is spending $24 million targeting 35,000 at risk children in seven regions.”

In Budget 2012, the Government is adding $12 million in operating spending to the campaign over the next four years, bringing the total five-year package to $24 million.

Porirua City has the highest rate of rheumatic fever among five to 15 year olds, Mrs Turia says.

“We’re making sure there will be enough funding so that all schools here in Waitangirua, Cannons Creek and Porirua East can take part, and as many children as possible covered.

“Māori and Pacific people – mostly children – living in cold over-crowded homes are most likely to get it. “They are more than 20 times more likely to be admitted to hospital with first time acute rheumatic fever than anyone else.”

Throat-swabbing programmes with antibiotic follow up are also in place for schools in Northland, South Auckland, Bay of Plenty, Lakes, Tairawhiti, Hawke's Bay and Porirua.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Back Again: Government Approves TPP11 Mandate

The Government has approved a negotiating mandate for Trans-Pacific Partnership 11 (TPP11), which will ensure New Zealand businesses remain competitive in overseas markets.

Trade Minister Todd McClay says New Zealand will be pushing for the minimal number of changes possible to the original TPP agreement, something that the remaining TPP11 countries have agreed on. More>>




Gordon Campbell: On Why Labour Isn’t Responsible For Barnaby Joyce

As a desperate Turnbull government tries to treat the Barnaby Joyce affair as a Pauline Hanson fever dream – blame it on the foreigners! We’re the victims of the dastardly New Zealand Labour Party! – our own government has chosen to further that narrative, and make itself an accomplice. More>>


Rail: Greens Back Tauranga – Hamilton – Auckland Service

The Green Party today announced that it will trial a passenger rail service between Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga starting in 2019, when it is in government. More>>


Housing: Voluntary Rental Warrant Of Fitness For Wellington

Wellington City Council is partnering with the University of Otago, Wellington, to launch a voluntary Rental Warrant of Fitness for minimum housing standards in Wellington, Mayor Justin Lester has announced. More>>


Treaty: Agreement In Principle Signed With Moriori

“The Crown acknowledges Moriori was left virtually landless from 1870, hindering its cultural, social and economic development. The Crown also acknowledges its contribution to the myths that the people of Moriori were racially inferior and became extinct." More>>


Susan Devoy: Call For Inquiry Into State Abuse Reaches UN

Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy is in Geneva and has asked a United Nations committee to urge the New Zealand government to initiate an inquiry into the physical and sexual abuse of children and disabled people held in state institutions. More>>


(Not National): Cross-Party Agreement On Pike River Re-Entry

The commitment was signed this afternoon by the leaders of Labour, United Future, The Maori Party, and the Green Party and, together with the earlier commitment by New Zealand First, means that there is now a Parliamentary majority behind the families’ fight for truth and justice. More>>






Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election