November 01, 2016
Rangatahi to take on rheumatic message
The Health Ministry is turning to rangatahi to get the word out about rheumatic fever.
Health Minister Jonathan Coleman says it will work with the Ministry of youth Development to recruit and train around 100 young people in Auckland and Northland, mainly Maori and Pacific aged between 11 and 19 years, to talk about how to prevent rheumatic fever.
They will speak at community and school events as well as deliver theatrical performances on the issue.
Acting Youth Minister Anne Tolley says young people can feel more comfortable and open when interacting with a peer, so the initiative should lead to greater understanding of key prevention messages among young people who are most at risk of rheumatic fever.
Recent figures show a 37 per cent decrease in rheumatic fever cases from, dropping from 177 cases in 2012 to 112 in 2016.
Good progress is being made with Maori, who have had a 56 per cent reduction. Dropping from 97 cases in 2012 to 43 cases in 2016.
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