Rheumatic fever in decline
The number of cases of rheumatic fever in Porirua is dropping, after a swabbing programme that began last year.
More than 4000 swabs have been taken by public health nurses in schools over the past 12 months. Of those, 370 tested positive for group A streptococcus infection, which can cause rheumatic fever.
National List MP and Education Minister Hekia Parata last week acknowledged the 12 schools in eastern Porirua that are taking part in the programme.
‘‘In partnership with schools, our government is working hard to try to eliminate this Third World disease that has been allowed to linger in our communities for far too long,’’ she said.
Ms Parata said one of National’s public service targets was to reduce the incidence of rheumatic fever by two-thirds to 1.4 cases per 100,000 people by June 2017 and that good progress was being made.
Winning the battle: Hekia Parata reports good news on the fight against rheumatic fever.