Skip to content
Rheumatic heart disease is a condition with an especially high prevalence amongst Aboriginal people, children in particular, and is the result of complications stemming from untreated rheumatic fever. Rheumatic heart disease is potentially fatal and incurable. However, treatment can manage the symptoms and reduce the risk of complications.
The Wurli-Wurlinjang rheumatic heart disease program in conjunction with the Northern Territory's Centre for Disease Control who maintain the Rheumatic Heart Disease register, monitor clients with notifiable rheumatic fever.
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 rheumatic fever) 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 9100
Fax: (08) 8971 0962