8 Apr 2013

Health worker rejects rheumatic fever claim

7:37 pm on 8 April 2013

An Eastern Bay of Plenty Maori health worker rejected a suggestion that not enough is being done to stop the causes of rheumatic fever.

Rheumatic fever can develop after a Group A streptococcus (strep throat) infection.

A Ministry of Health-commissioned report has evaluated the first 18 months of the Government's $24 million rheumatic fever prevention programme.

The report says not enough is being done to stop the causes of the disease.

A health worker at Te Kaokao o Takapau in Taneatua says the Government could do more such as increasing home insulation.

Mahina Harawira says that could improve the prevention programme, but she says she couldn't go so far as to say that not enough is being done by the Government.

Ms Harawira says her organisation is doing all it can - from swabbing throats to visiting schools and teaching children about rheumatic fever. The children then pass the information on to family members.