Labour pledges to focus on rheumatic fever
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.