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Australian Indigenous HealthBulletin

Wurli-Wurlinjang rheumatic heart disease program



The Wurli-Wurlinjang rheumatic heart disease program is a joint initiative of the Wurli-Wurlinjang health centre and the Northern Territory's centre for disease control. The aim of the project is to maintain a register of all patients with rheumatic heart disease (RHD), in order to monitor and control the disease.

RHD is a condition with an especially high prevalence amongst Indigenous people, children in particular, and is the result of complications stemming from untreated rheumatic fever. It is potentially fatal and incurable, however treatment can manage the symptoms and reduce the risk of complications.

Aboriginal Health Workers use the register to ensure that clients continue to receive therapy at the appropriate frequency, and where necessary, work with transport staff to ensure that access to the clinic is not an impediment to treatment.

Education is imperative to ensure the community are aware of the risks of rheumatic fever, and of the importance of having streptococcus infections (Group A streptococcus bacterium can cause RHD) treated as early as possible.

Abstract adapted from Wurli-Wurlinjang Health Service


Wurli-Wurlinjang Health Service
25 Third Street
PO Box 896
Katherine NT 0851
Ph: (08) 8972 9123
Fax: (08) 8971 0962


Last updated: 24 September 2015
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