National Partnership Agreement on Rheumatic Fever Strategy – continuation and expansion

This measure strengthens and expands the Australian Government’s Rheumatic Fever Strategy (RFS) for the prevention and management of acute rheumatic fever (ARF) and rheumatic heart disease (RHD). The Australian Government will continue to protect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities at risk of ARF and RHD, by maintaining support for the existing state-based patient registers and control programs that detect, monitor and manage ARF and RHD.

Page last updated: 09 May 2017

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Why is this important?

Targeted action can prevent serious illness and deaths among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.

The measure continues the focus on improved clinical care, best practice secondary prevention treatment (prophylaxis antibiotics), and education and training for health care providers, patients, their families and communities to raise awareness and improve prevention and treatment. The measure also includes additional funding for focused prevention activities in high-risk communities.

The measure also strengthens RFS data collection and reporting systems through increased engagement with the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare to streamline the provision of data from states and territories to the data collection system.

The measure complements existing Government initiatives such as the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Plan 2013–23, and other activities to enhance coordination, diagnosis, treatment and prevention measures for communicable diseases in Indigenous communities, such as the remote housing strategy, and the trachoma elimination program.

Who will benefit?

The proposal will benefit children and young people in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities who are at greatest risk of acute rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease.

How much will this cost?

This measure will cost $18.8 million from 2017–18 to 2020–21. $11.2 million has already been provisioned by the Government.

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