join the movement to end rhdBy working together, ending rheumatic heart disease is possible.
We are committed to ending rheumatic heart disease in Australia.
We recognise that rheumatic heart disease is preventable. It is a disease born of social inequity and disadvantage which continues to disproportionately impact the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
We believe that community-led solutions and leadership, based on the aspirations and priorities of the communities most affected, are the foundation to end rheumatic heart disease in Australia.
The knowledge, evidence and resources exist to do this now, and presents a critical opportunity to close the gap in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health. This will mean improving the social and economic environments where people live, learn and work, and ensuring equitable access to culturally respectful health care for all.
We believe that ending rheumatic heart disease is fundamental to the rights of all to achieve the highest standard of health.
What we’re asking for
These priorities are a starting point for the actions needed to eliminate rheumatic heart disease (RHD) in Australia.
Guarantee Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leadership
The Commonwealth Government ensures the leadership and voices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people drive the development and implementation of RHD prevention strategies, by convening an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Steering Committee.
Set targets to end rheumatic heart disease
Australian Governments together commit to measurable targets for preventing new cases of acute rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease. Our vision is that no child born in Australia from this day forward dies of rheumatic heart disease.
Fund a roadmap to end rheumatic heart disease
Australian Governments work in partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health bodies, experts, and key stakeholders to develop, fully fund, and implement a strategy to end rheumatic heart disease in Australia by 2031.
Commit to immediate action in communities at high risk of rheumatic heart disease
Australian Governments commit to immediate action to fund comprehensive primary care and health promotion activities in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities with high rates of acute rheumatic fever, and at risk of RHD. These initiatives must be Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander-led and provide dedicated funding to the primary health care services in high-risk communities for both treatment and prevention.
This will also need to include: support for collaboration by peak bodies along with increasing the number of health and community workers; service navigation and health literacy support for high-risk families; and, where appropriate, providing resources for active case finding. Initiatives must be part of a systematic approach addressing the social and environmental determinants of health: tackling inequality, overcrowding, inadequate housing infrastructure, and insufficient hygiene infrastructure, and improving access to appropriate health services.
Invest in strategic research and technology to prevent and treat acute rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease
The Commonwealth Government invests in the development of a Strep A vaccine to prevent new cases of acute rheumatic fever and RHD, as well as a long-acting penicillin product to improve the lives of those already living with the disease.