7 May 2013

Better housing needed to combat rheumatic fever - Greens

7:22 pm on 7 May 2013

The Green Party says a funding increase to fight rheumatic fever is just a band aid that will do nothing to eliminate the cause of the disease.

The Government is providing an additional $21 million , on top of the $24 million already in place to fight the illness.

The groups most vulnerable to rheumatic fever are Maori and Pacific Island children.

More than half the new money will provide sore throat drop-in clinics in south Auckland and Porirua, while the rest will go towards awareness campaigns and a healthy home advice service.

The Green Party co-leader, Metiria Turei, says providing additional funds is a good step, but they are not being used to eliminate the cold, damp housing that causes the illness.

She says more needs to be invested in effective home insulation and warm, dry state house building projects that will benefit those most at risk.