Scoop, 8 July 2016
Health Minister Jonathan Coleman has today announced a new $1
million one-off fund aimed at increasing awareness and reducing
rheumatic fever in high-risk Māori communities.
"Rheumatic fever is a serious but preventable disease. Children
and young people from Māori and Pacific communities are the most
vulnerable," says Dr Coleman.
"The Rheumatic Fever Māori Community Fund targets six DHB
regions where most of the Māori rheumatic fever cases occur -
Northland, Counties Manukau, Waikato, Lakes, Bay of Plenty and
"These DHBs will distribute funding to Māori community groups
for small-scale initiatives to test innovative solutions for
increasing awareness and helping to prevent rheumatic fever.
"Community groups are expected to start delivering initiatives
from July through to October.
"The Rheumatic Fever Māori Community Fund helps the sector and
communities to work together. It also support DHBs in their efforts
to address rheumatic fever.
"Nationally, we're making good progress towards the target of
reducing rheumatic fever rates by two-thirds by the end of June
2017. This shows the $65 million investment the Government's made
to prevent rheumatic fever is making a real difference. However, we
need to continue to do more."
Latest figures show a 45 per cent rheumatic fever reduction from
2012 to 2015. This includes a 54 per cent reduction in cases among
There has also been a drop of 27 per cent for Pacific people. A
one-off rheumatic fever Pacific Community Fund was implemented in