Ridding Tairāwhiti of Rheumatic Fever

1 September 2015

Tairāwhiti has one of the highest rates of Rheumatic Fever in the country. Addressing this has been a focus for Hauora Tairāwhiti.

Getting all sore throats checked out at the free GP sore throat clinics is going a long way to getting prompt treatment to prevent strep throats turning into rheumatic fever.

However to prevent sore throats we need to keep homes warmer and drier. Warm dry homes help to keep families healthy and free from the bugs that cause sore throats.

If a home is cold or damp people are more likely to get sick. When there are several people sleeping together or in the same room it is easy for germs to spread among the whanau.

As part of the campaign to address Tairawhiti’s high rates of Rheumatic Fever, Turanga Health has recently employed Memory Taylor as a Healthy Housing Coordinator. If families are suffering from sore throats or other ailments they can be referred by their GP to Memory. She will do a healthy home assessment and then based on the results look at ways the family can keep home warmer and drier. Insulation and dry warm homes are fundamental to stamping out Rheumatic Fever.

Memory joins the Turanga Health based Rheumatic Fever prevention programme coordinator. Free Sore Throat Clinics are running in Medical Centres throughout the district. Parents and caregivers can get help every time a child has a sore throat. Appointments are not required and the care is free.


Aaliyah Ropiha has her thoat swabbed by Puhi Kaiti Nurse Diane McMillian

Aaliyah Ropiha has her thoat swabbed by Puhi Kaiti Nurse Diane McMillian