Children living with Rheumatic heart disease (RHD) under the care of Cure Kids Fiji had a chance to forget about their health problems by spending a day on Denarau Island’s Big Bula Waterpark.
Hosted by park manager Trevor Fox, the group of 50 were treated to fun water slides and games. Public health advisor Dr Sainimere Boladuadua said activities such as these were an opportunity to remind the young patients to recommence or continue their treatment.
“We understand that committing to monthly antibiotic injections for a minimum of 10 years can be challenging,” she said.
“We want to let them know that they are risking their future health if they stop treatment without medical advice.”
“In previous research conducted, patients reported that they feel well or that they did not understand the importance of Benzathine treatment and that is why they stopped going to the clinic each month. Patient support activities combined with other activities such as monthly SMS treatment reminders and information resources are aimed at addressing these challenges.”
Rheumatic heart disease affects one in 50 people, yet is a preventable condition, and Fiji has one of the highest rates of RHD in the world.
In partnership with AccorHotels, the Fiji Ministry of Health and world-leading RHD experts from Australia and NZ, Cure Kids Fiji is leading a national-level, research-based project, improving and building capacity across all aspects of RHD control and prevention. Learn more about this work here.