We need to close the gap.Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander people live with rheumatic heart disease (RHD) at rates 60 times higher than non-Indigenous Australians About RHD
Together, we can end rheumatic heart disease in Australia.
Rheumatic heart disease (RHD) is permanent heart damage, resulting from a throat or skin infection caused by Strep A bacteria. If not managed properly, it can cause heart failure, death and disability.
Most people with RHD live in developing countries, however Australia has some of the highest rates of the disease in the world – occurring almost exclusively in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
In a country like Australia, rheumatic heart disease shouldn’t exist. Yet it does – taking lives, and causing disability to some of our most vulnerable.
From all walks of life, we’re uniting, committing to one thing: ending rheumatic heart disease. Will you help?
Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander people are living with ARF or RHD
Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander people are predicted to develop RHD or ARF by 2031
Average age of death of Aboriginal people dying with RHD
5 Priorities to end rheumatic heart disease in Australia
These priorities are a starting point for the actions needed to eliminate rheumatic heart disease (RHD) in Australia.
Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander leadership
Care and support
Sophie’s story: when acute rheumatic fever isn’t just common, it’s expected
Dr Sophie Collins can clearly remember the sense of injustice she felt when she came across a patient with rheumatic heart disease (RHD) – a patient, who in many other ways, was just like her. It was during her first year working as a doctor, and she was based in...
Billi-Joh’s story: diagnosed with RHD aged eight
Meet Billi-Joh. She's 15 years old, and lives in a remote Aboriginal community at the top of Western Australia. Like many teenagers, her mum says that she's still finding her place in the world. What sets her apart from her peers is that she is navigating the ups and...
Carol’s Story: Losing A Parent To RHD
Carol Michie’s mother Elizabeth was one of eight siblings born on East Arrernte (Aranda) land, near Alice Springs. After being diagnosed with rheumatic heart disease at ten, Elizabeth had to leave country and her family for a large chunk of her childhood so she could...