7 May 2013

Rheumatic fever funding boost a step in right direction

6:52 am on 7 May 2013

A university professor specialising in Maori health says a funding boost to fight rheumatic fever is a step in the right direction, but more research is needed.

The Government is providing $21 million in addition to $24 million already in place to fight the disease, which mainly affects Pacific and Maori children.

A little more than half of the new money will provide sore throat drop-in clinics in Auckland and Porirua.

The rest will go towards awareness campaigns and a healthy home advice service in Auckland.

The director of Massey University's Research Centre for Maori Health and Development, Professor Chris Cunningham, approves of measures to improve housing.

He says research shows the benefit of warm, well-ventilated homes that are not overcrowded.

However Mr Cunningham says more research is needed to work out how to create healthy homes for whanau.