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Rheumatic Heart Disease Australia

About RHDAustralia

RHDAustralia supports the prevention, diagnosis and management of acute rheumatic fever (ARF) and rheumatic heart disease (RHD) in Australia. RHDAustralia is based at the Menzies School of Health Research in Darwin, and is funded under the Australian Government’s Rheumatic Fever Strategy.

Our vision: 
No child dies in Australia as a result of acute rheumatic fever or its complications.

Our mission:
To work alongside Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and other at-risk populations, to reduce acute rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease in Australia. 


What we do

  1. Update, disseminate and integrate the Australian Guidelines for the prevention, diagnosis and management of ARF and RHD
  2. Develop and implement high quality, evidence-based education and training resources for health professionals, people with ARF and RHD, and their families and communities
  3. Support health systems to achieve evidence-based best practice for focused prevention activities in high-risk communities

RHDAustralia provides evidence-based guidelines to support Australia’s health workforce to achieve best practice care for people with ARF and RHD. The 2020 Australian guideline for prevention, diagnosis and management of acute rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease (3rd edition), draws on the latest evidence-based research, with a focus on culturally safe practice.

We work closely with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander-focused health services and communities to develop culturally appropriate information to help improve disease prevention and support self-management. By collaborating with key partner organisations and state and territory-based RHD control programs across Australia, we strive to raise awareness of ARF and RHD and strengthen support capacity for people living with the disease.

Our Partners

Our key partners are the Commonwealth Government, the Heart Foundation and the five Australian RHD register and control programs. We also work with many affiliated organisations, researchers and clinicians to ensure our work is informed and guided by the latest evidence.

RHDAustralia works in the context of relevant policy, research and practice developments both in Australia and internationally. This includes understanding and integration of:

  • the policy context in which RHD control in Australia operates.
  • current research findings and opportunities to translate these into practice.
  • global experience and best practice recommendations for RHD control.
  • primary health care systems and chronic care models applicable in the context of ARF and RHD.

Advisory Committee

RHDAustralia's Advisory Committee provides high level, strategic advice on the development and maintenance of the program and our contract deliverables. The Committee is managed by the Menzies School of Health Research.

Membership includes RHDAustralia and the Menzies School of Health Research, Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander health peak bodies, and government and non-government partners.

Resource Development Committee

The Resource Development Committee focuses on development and dissemination of quality clinical resources and community education tools. Membership includes RHDAustralia, Australian RHD register and control programs, and other key stakeholders.

RHD Program Managers Group

The Program Managers Group meets regularly to discuss common activities that relate to ARF and RHD in Australia. Membership includes RHDAustralia and the Australian RHD register and control programs.

LAST UPDATED 26 JUNE 2020