15NRHC Recommendation - 03/26/2019 - 12:17

Stop using surgical solutions to fix social problems. All political parties need to commit prior to Federal election to substantial investment in immediate community-led on the ground action to prevent and eliminate Rheumatic Heart Disease. To do this together we need to address housing and workforce issues and this will have very wide benefits for the overall well-being of rural and remote Australians. Components required are.
1. Indigenous leadership, governance and strategy initiation
2. Regional and local education and awareness campaigns
3. Strengthened comprehensive primary health care - more school nurses, Indigenous health workers and practitioners, community workers and GPs.
4. Improved health hygiene
5. Routine cyclical maintenance of health-related hardware in community houses
6. Active case finding - echocardiographic screening in high risk communities to minimise need for surgery
7. Jurisdictional RHD Control Program funding - to assist delivery and monitoring of treatment regimes
8. State/Territory-wide cardiac service coordination - to facilitate the link between communities and cardiosurgical centres
9. Monitoring and evaluation

Recommendation Type: 


To apply a primary prevention focus, review of the order of strategies should be considered and there should be specific mention of environmental health workers and professionals embedded in any program redesign.