Word spread, not fever

Central Leader - - NEWS -

Kids are spread­ing the word about rheumatic fever.

Stu­dents from Ta­maki Col­lege and Mt Roskill Gram­mar School have cre­ated short films to raise aware­ness about the dis­ease in a project spear­headed by the Rheumatic Fever Preven­tion Pro­gramme and the Min­istry of Pa­cific Is­land Af­fairs.

Rheumatic fever is a se­ri­ous dis­ease caused by an un­treated strep throat in­fec­tion.

In most cases, treat­ment of the ini­tial in­fec­tion would stop rheumatic fever de­vel­op­ing.

Pa­cific Is­land and Maori chil­dren are par­tic­u­larly at risk. Sixty per cent of Auck­land’s cases are Pa­cific Is­landers and 35 per cent are Maori.

A throat swab­bing ini­tia­tive, in­volv­ing stu­dents aged 5 to 14 in East Auck­land, was in­tro­duced last year to iden­tify and treat cases of Group A strep­to­coc­cus be­fore it can de­velop into rheumatic fever.

Ta­maki Col­lege nurse Ta­nia Crothall says the num­ber of stu­dents de­vel­op­ing rheumatic fever at the school has dropped since throat swab­bing was in­tro­duced.

‘‘I think the mes­sage is start­ing to get through.

‘‘Kids see the posters around and they know that we have to be proac­tive and are able to treat stu­dents at school.’’

Crothall says the short films are a great way to get young peo­ple to think se­ri­ously about the dis­ease.

The Gov­ern­ment has set a tar­get of re­duc­ing the rates of rheumatic fever by two-thirds by 2017.

It is in­vest­ing more than $65 mil­lion over six years to fight the dis­ease.

Go to cen­tral­leader. co.nz and click on Lat­est Edi­tion to watch Mt Roskill Gram­mar’s short film.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.