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Rheumatic Heart Disease Australia

RHD Resouces

Apunipima community partnership drives RHD awareness videos

In early November 2021, Apunipima partnered with the Napranum PCYC for a Rheumatic Heart Disease (RHD) movie night to launch a series of community videos to help bring awareness and education about RHD to the community. The process of making the videos and then launching the event was a resounding success, only possible through collaboration with local established programs, staff and community members. The movie night  included personal talks from RHD champions, health promotion activities such as ‘Glow Germ’ and a healthy BBQ. 

Working alongside Napranum community members, five videos were created to raise awareness around ARF and RHD. The videos feature community members sharing important and practical messages on RHD prevention – focusing on washing hands and body with soap and water, keeping the home environment clean (including washing towels, clothes and bedding regularly), going to the clinic for skin sores and sore throats and keeping up to date with Bicillin injections. Messages were developed together with community members and also reflect the principles of the RHD Endgame Strategy Healthy Living Practices.

Apunipma RHD Project

Apunipima Cape York Health Council is an Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (ACCHO), servicing eleven communities across Cape York. Apunipima was one of six ACCHOs to receive  funding to develop and deliver the RHD Prevention Project as part of Australia’s Rheumatic Fever Strategy (RFS) in two communities, Napranum and Kowanyama.

The goal of the RHD project is to work with Cape York communities to reduce the incidence and improve the management of Acute Rheumatic Fever (ARF) and RHD. To achieve this goal, the Project team focus on primordial and primary determinants, across the following areas:

  • social marketing and community education, in order to raise awareness and understanding of ARF and RHD
  • healthy living environment promotion
  • primary healthcare support

Whilst ARF and RHD are serious, they are both completely preventable. By focusing on the primordial and primary determinants of both ARF and RHD, we can support the health and wellbeing of not just those with living with these conditions but also future generations across the Cape.

Project staff would like to say a huge thank you to all the community members involved in the development of the RHD videos and to the Napranum community for their support of the RHD movie night event. 

If you would like to learn more about the work Apunipima is doing in the RHD space, please contact Anne Lechner, RHD Prevention Project Manager at Anne.Lechner@apunipima.org.au