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Auckland rheumatic fever awareness campaign kicks off

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Health Minister Jonathan Coleman says this year’s rheumatic fever awareness campaign starts tomorrow with a focus on reducing cases in Auckland.

"Rheumatic fever is serious but preventable. Children and young people from Pacific and Māori communities are the most vulnerable," says Dr Coleman.

"While we’re making good progress to reduce rheumatic fever rates, there’s still more work to be done to meet the ambitious BPS target.

"This year’s rheumatic fever awareness campaign has an increased Auckland focus in more than 20 suburbs across the three Auckland DHB regions.

"More than half the country’s rheumatic fever cases are in Auckland, and increased efforts are being made at both regional and national levels to reduce the number of children and young people affected by rheumatic fever.

"Rheumatic fever awareness raising and prevention activities are being boosted significantly in Auckland as a result. Last year the Government reprioritised $875,000 from the $65 million invested through Vote Health to further help prevent rheumatic fever in Auckland."

The Auckland rheumatic fever awareness campaign phase runs until the end of April. It utilises local media channels, Pacific and iwi radio stations and social media.

In addition to the awareness campaign, rheumatic fever prevention activities are being strengthened through a youth awareness campaign which includes theatrical performance projects, and training youth ambassadors to deliver awareness raising activities.

The Ministry of Health is also working with Pacific and Māori providers, as well as DHBs, to increase community engagement among Pacific and Māori communities.

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