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Rheumatic Heart Disease costs Fiji $19m annually

August 10, 2015 6:57 pm

Rheumatic Heart Disease (RHD) costs the country $19m annually with majority of the impact coming from loss of productivity, hospitalisation and surgical interventions.

Minister for Health Jone Usamate Usamate says recent research shows that RHD is a common cause of death for men aged in their 30s and 40s with death rates also high for teenagers.

“Fiji and surrounding Pacific countries have the highest prevalence of RHD globally and that’s not a record that we should be proud of. Hopefully this program can do something about this – with an estimated 1% of children and young people affected.”

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Usamate made the comments while launching ‘phase two’ of the RHD Prevention and Control Programme in Lami last night.

The newly funded initiative with Cure Kids New Zealand and the Ministry of Health provides opportunities for integration of Acute Renal Failure and RHD into Non-Communicable Diseases, maternal child health, graduate and under-graduate education and other existing health activities.

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