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Rheumatic Heart Disease Australia

About RHDAustralia

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. 

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. Since 2009, RHDAustralia has played a critical role in the Australian Government’s Rheumatic Fever Strategy.

What we do

RHDAustralia believes that to end RHD in Australia, people and their culture and values must be incorporated into all aspects of the work we undertake.  Community input is critical with solutions that respond to local context. By recognising and supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ways of knowing, being and doing RHDAustralia is committed to self-determination, empowerment and Aboriginal leadership. We aim to: 

Increase community capacity and empower communities by:

  • Supporting and growing the Champions4Change program based on the principles of experience-based co-design.
  • Working with individuals, families and communities to identify and co-design resources required to strengthen education and awareness of ARF and RHD at community level.
  • Providing mentoring upskilling and training opportunities through traineeships and involvement of Champions4Change in RHDAustralia projects.

Support clinical excellence and best practice by:

  • Implementing the 2020 Australian Guideline for the prevention, diagnosis and management of ARF and RHD (3rd edition)
  • Working in partnership with key stakeholders to deliver evidence-based, responsive and innovative education and training to health professionals and community-based workers.
  • Translating knowledge to practice through education, engagement and communication strategies.

RHDAustralia works collaboratively with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, Australian Governments, RHD Control Programs, the Heart Foundation, our END RHD partners, professional bodies and others to support the implementation of an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander led, comprehensive approach to eliminate RHD in Australia as articulated in the RHD Endgame Strategy. We also work closely with key health professionals, experts in RHD to provide technical support based on our evidence based guidelines. Our work aligns with and contributes to key Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander national strategies and policies including the new National Agreement on Closing the Gap.

Last Updated 
01 December 2021
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