Labour pledges to fo­cus on rheumatic fever

Fiji Sun - - Aust / NZ News - NZ Her­ald

Welling­ton: The Labour Party will re­in­state a na­tional tar­get for re­duc­ing rheumatic fever rates, leader Jacinda Ardern said to­day. “In New Zealand, there should be no such thing as rheumatic fever,” she told sup­port­ers at the Otara mar­kets in South Auck­land this morn­ing. “It is a dis­ease of poverty.”

Nine out of 10 cases of rheumatic fever – which is usu­ally caused by liv­ing in cold, damp homes – were Maori or Pa­cific Island chil­dren. “It has become a dis­ease of South Auck­land,” Ms Ardern said. Na­tional made re­duc­ing rheumatic fever rates one of its top 10 tar­gets for the pub­lic sec­tor but af­ter some ini­tial suc­cess, rates have be­gun ris­ing again. The tar­get was dis­con­tin­ued this year.

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