Cure Kids Fiji believes more can still be done to address rheumatic heart disease.
With over 60 people dying from RHD annually, Cure Kids RHD Research Program Lead Doctor Jima Kailawadoko says increasing awareness can be crucial for early detection.
“We could have a lot more awareness, and part of the program is being able to build that health literacy in our communities, in our families, and in our schools so that people are aware of what the symptoms are for acute rheumatic fever and how to prevent and how to properly treat acute rheumatic fever so that they don’t develop their heart condition that we know as rheumatic heart disease.”
Doctor Jima Kailawadoko.
Dr. Kailawadoko has also outlined plans for a more societal approach to addressing RHD.
“We are also looking to set up a civil society organization for people living with RHD, and this is the platform we want to use to be able to raise awareness in the community about what these symptoms are and what parents should look out for sore throat, fever, and joint pains, For parents, these things can be a sign of rheumatic heart fever.”
Dr. Kailawadoko says children between the ages of five and 15 are more at risk and a lot of their work is targeted towards this age group.