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Rheumatic Heart Disease Australia

RHD Resouces

WA orientation video new addition to e-learning modules

An orientation and education video for Western Australian (WA) health staff is the latest addition to our e-learning platform. The orientation film is designed to raise awareness of acute rheumatic fever (ARF) and rheumatic heart disease (RHD) for clinical staff working in rural and remote WA and to make them aware of their statutory reporting obligations in relation to ARF and RHD in WA.

The WA RHD Orientation video can be found on the RHDAustralia e-learning platform. The RHDA e-learning platform has basic to advanced education modules for all health professionals. It allows you to record your progress, provides you with certificates of completion and allows you to work through the modules at your own pace. The modules are endorsed by the Australian College of Nursing and accredited by the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine.

ARF and RHD are notifiable conditions in Western Australia. Since the WA RHD Register and Program commenced in 2009, more than 800 people have been identified as living with ARF or RHD.

WA RHD Program Clinical Nurse Manager Janice Forrester said both conditions were rare in Australia and were preventable but often were indicators of social disadvantage. Janice noted:

“People with RHD are at risk of heart failure, stroke and other medical complications at an early age. It causes premature death and in the Kimberley the average age of death from RHD is 41 years. The group most at risk and affected by ARF are Aboriginal children aged 5–14 years living in rural and remote WA."

“This condition requires a clinical diagnosis and given that it's a rare disease in Australia not all staff working in regional and remote WA are familiar with diagnosing this disease. That is why the orientation video is so important. It helps children like Rozella (pictured), who through the help of staff, has changed her attitude towards receiving injections of long-acting penicillin every 28 days and now has a positive association with the injection. She refers to it as her ‘lovely needle’.”

The film was funded through the Western Australia Chronic Conditions Strategy. For more information contact the WA Control Program and Register:  

T: 1300 622 745
E: RHDregister@health.wa.gov.au

Some content of this article is extracted from a Department of Health WA media release.