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Rheumatic Heart Disease Australia

RHD Australia

'Sharing a Heartbeat' film launch

Friday, October 6, 2017
Bagot Community Event Hall, Bagot Community, Ludmilla NT

6:00 - 7:30pm

 “Remember, the mother shares the heartbeat with the baby”

Join us for the launch of Sharing a Heartbeat. A short film about love, pregnancy, and living with rheumatic heart disease.

“I chose to help create this film because I wanted to help young women living with RHD and make sure they can access information about contraception, pregnancy and planning for a baby. The film reassures young women with RHD that they can have a normal healthy pregnancy; they just need to take extra care of themselves.” - Kenya McAdam, Director

This film was developed, written and directed by Australian Indigenous women. It's in their words, and answers their questions. It provides young women, their partners and families with health information in a way that makes sense to them.

The content of the film revolves around relationships and family, pregnancy choices and contraception while dealing with a chronic health condition. This film was produced by RHDAustralia and made possible with a grant from NTPHN.

Pizza, Popcorn and Drinks will be provided free of charge! This is a family friendly and alcohol free event.

More about the film

This short film was written and directed in part by 21 year old Kenya McAdam, a Jaru and Kira woman from Halls Creek, WA currently living in Katherine, NT. Kenya developed RHD at 15 years old. The damage to her heart so severe it required open heart surgery within 3 months of diagnosis. Since that time, Kenya has worked with RHDAustralia to raise awareness about this 100% preventable disease.

Kenya was assisted by Associate Professor Suzanne Belton, a medical anthropologist and midwife who produced and worked alongside Kenya in the making of this short film. Associate Professor Belton’s most recent research focused on the pregnancy journeys of eight Indigenous women with RHD from different parts of the Northern Territory, who have different parities, different levels RHD, and different social backgrounds.

“Recent research has demonstrated that young women were over represented among patients with any form of RHD. There were no resources available for young women about fertility and pregnancy. As most young women with RHD would like to be mums one day this was an important information gap I wanted to address. This film provides young women, their partners and families with health information in a way that makes sense to them.” Assoc Prof Suzanne Belton said.

Facts on rheumatic heart disease and its precursor acute rheumatic fever

Young Indigenous Australians, such as Kenya, are up to 122 times more likely to contract the disease than non-Indigenous youngsters. Young people in the Northern Territory (NT) aged 5 – 14 years are at highest risk of a first episode of rheumatic fever. Almost all cases of rheumatic fever recorded in the NT between 2005 and 2010 were for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people (98%).It is deemed an entirely preventable disease of poverty. It is estimated that at least 15.6 million people worldwide are currently living with RHD.

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