Source: Scoop, 10 November 2016
Health Minister Jonathan Coleman says there will be a greater
focus on reducing rheumatic fever rates in Auckland.
"Rheumatic fever is a serious but preventable disease. Children
and young people from Maori and Pacific communities are the most
vulnerable," Dr Coleman says.
"Nationally we're making good progress towards the Better Public
Service target of reducing rheumatic fever rates by two-thirds by
June 2017. But there's still more work to be done, particularly in
the greater Auckland region.
"I've asked the Ministry of Health to work closer with
Auckland's three DHBs, particularly Auckland and Waitemata DHBs
which need to identify how they will bring their numbers down to
help them achieve their rheumatic fever targets.
"We're also boosting the rheumatic fever awareness raising
activities in the region. To help this work the Government has
reprioritised $875,000 from the $65 million invested through Vote
Health to help prevent rheumatic fever.
"This will be supported by the recently announced recruitment
and training of around 100 young people, mainly Maori and Pacific
aged between 11 and 19 years, to talk with peers about how to
prevent rheumatic fever."
Recent figures show a 37 per cent decrease in rheumatic fever
cases, dropping from 177 cases in 2012 to 112 in 2016.
Across the greater Auckland region:
· Counties Manuaku DHB is tracking well, having halved their
rheumatic fever numbers from 66 cases in 2012 compared to 37 cases
in the 2015/16 financial year. But the overall incident rate
· Auckland DHB reported 19 cases in the 2015/16 year, but needs a
74 per cent reduction to reach their target goal of five cases in
· Waitemata DHB reported 12 cases in 2015/16, but needs a 66 per
cent reduction to reach their target goal of four cases in