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Rheumatic Heart Disease Australia

RHD Resouces

Video of Q&A Panel Event 2016 - Forgotten but not gone: Why does a third world disease exist in Australia

Hosted by Charlie King, OAM, the Rheumatic Heart Disease forum was held in Darwin in 2016, with discussion from experts, people with RHD and carers in a Q & A style presentation. ‘Why does a third world disease still exist in Australia?’ was the question asked at our Q&A panel event held at Parliament House, Darwin, on the 20th October. The community event raised awareness and generated discussion around a disease that has been all but forgotten in metropolitan and mainstream Australia. Bringing acute rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease back into the public light. Health professionals working in Northern Australia may have heard of acute rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease, they may know the pathology of the disease and infection, or even have treated people with these serious conditions. But, for most Australians, these are diseases relegated to turn of the century medical books as long forgotten illnesses that may resonate with those from the Silent and Baby Boomer Generations but probably not with most Gen Xs, Ys and Zs. With this in mind, it’s not hard to see why we chose ‘Forgotten but not gone’ as the headline for our event. It is a statement, often used in relation to acute rheumatic fever (ARF) and rheumatic heart disease (RHD), about the social amnesia of wider Australia towards a disease that predominantly affects Indigenous children between 5-15 years of age. The title is a painful reminder of a life threatening, yet largely preventable illness, currently affecting at least 6,000 people and their families around Australia. Definitely not gone. 130 people from all walks of life attended the event, where they heard from two brave families living with the disease and six engaging panel members; later to become seven thanks to the impromptu, and welcome addition of the Northern Territory Minister for Housing, Gerry McCarthy.
Author / Authors 
Jane Singleton - Executive Producer James Courtney - Videography Aboriginal Broadcasting Australia - Video Production and editing
RHDAustralia and Aboriginal Broadcasting Australia
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