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RHD Resouces

MEDIA ALERT: Experts gather in Darwin to prevent rheumatic heart disease

Monday, 4 November 2013

Health professionals from across Australia will converge in Darwin this week as part of Australia’s fight to prevent rheumatic heart disease (RHD).

RHD is the world’s most common childhood heart disease. The majority of people with RHD in Australia are Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders aged five to 14 years that live in remote areas of central and northern Australia.

The RHD Australia Conference: Practice and Culture will bring together experts, health workers, researchers and government policy makers to draw on their experience and innovation to reveal what can be done to reduce the highest recorded rate of RHD in the world.

The conference will showcase technological advances to prevent and treat RHD, discuss how health workers can engage Indigenous communities to reduce the burden of RHD, deliver research insights into RHD in pregnancy and a genetic study of why some people get RHD and why others don’t.

A highlight will be stories from Indigenous health workers and clinicians working in remote Indigenous communities on the impacts of culture on clinical practice.

Conference speakers include:

  • Professor Jonathan Carapetis, Director, Telethon Institute of Child Health Research, University of Western Australia
  • Dr Bo Remenyi, Paediatric Cardiologist, Menzies School of Health Research
  • Vicki Krause, Director, Centre for Disease Control, NT Health
  • Dr Steven Tong, Research Fellow, Menzies School of Health Research
  • Dr Phil Humphris, General Practitioner, Nganampa Health Council
  • Claire Boardman, Deputy Director, RHD Australia
  • Dot Morrison, Chief Executive Officer, Heart Foundation
  • Alice Mitchell, PhD Candidate, Menzies School of Health Research
  • Leslee Warrior, Aboriginal Health Liaison Officer, Cardiology Department, Royal Perth Hospital

See the program for full session details.

When5 – 6 November 2013 from 8:30am – 4pm

WhereDarwin Convention Centre, Level 2, Waterfront Room 3

Media Interview

Professor Jonathan Carapetis, a leading mind in the Australian health field with particular expertise in Indigenous child health, will be available for interview today Monday 4 November or 10:30am Day 1 of the Conference, Tuesday 5 November. Contact Emmanuelle Clarke, RHD Australia on 0415 512 109 or email to arrange an interview.

Media Opportunity

Media are welcome to attend the conference. For more information contact Emmanuelle Clarke, RHD Australia on 0415 512 109.


RHD Australia is Australia’s national RHD coordination unit and aims to reduce death and disability from acute rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease. Funded by the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing RHD Australia is an initiative of Menzies School of Health Research. The unit was established in 2009 as part of the National Rheumatic Fever Strategy.

Download a PDF of this media alert