The Global Action Plan on Non-communicable Disease and the emergence of post-MDG global health agenda offer opportunities to examine RHD as an NCD of poverty and a sentinel of health inequality. While nearly eliminated in wealthy populations, rheumatic heart disease still causes maternal mortality and kills or debilitates hundreds of thousands of children and youth in low-income settings. As they struggle to provide high-cost treatment for the disease in advanced stages, health systems in most low-income countries do not systematically implement low-cost measures of RHD prevention in primary care.
The New Zealand and South African governments, working with the World Heart Federation, organized a panel discussion, Addressing Inequalities in NCDs: A focus on rheumatic heart disease (view agenda). The side event brought together Member States attending the 66th World Health Assembly in a facilitated panel discussion led by Ministries of Health in RHD-endemic countries. Panelists discussed how best to reduce the burden of RHD and help ensure that the global goal of reducing cardiovascular disease mortality 25% by 2025 can also be achieved for those under 25.
The WHO Perspective on RHD, Shanthi Mendis, Director a.i, Department of Management of Non-communicable Diseases, World Health Organization
View the presentations of:
Integrating RHD into Rwanda's national NCD plan, Jean-de-Dieu Ngirabega, Director General of Clinical Services, Ministery of Health, Rwanda
Article by Minister Agnes Binagwaho et all: Uniting to address paediatric heart disease in Africa: Advocacy from Rwanda
The Australian Government's Rheumatic Fever Strategy, Chris Baggoley, Chief Medical Officer for the Department of Health and Ageing, Australia
World Heart Federation position statement:
In the press: