December 06, 2020
Rheumatic fever marker for health system shortfall
A Māori doctor studying in England says New Zealand has serious health inequities compared to other OECD countries.
Paediatrician Te Aro Moxon is reading for a Masters of Science in global health and epidemiology at Oxford University with a focus on addressing health inequities in vulnerable communities.
He says infectious diseases like rheumatic fever have been practically wiped out in other well-off countries because of improved living standards and access to health care, but in Aotearoa, a failure to address poor health outcomes has seen it lag comparable countries.
"Rheumatic fever as an entity and as an illness is a bit of a market. If you look at other countries that are well off or OECD countries that are comparable to New Zealand, rheumatic fever as an entity has disappeared, fallen off their list," Dr Moxon says.
He says indigenous groups around the world need to share research and strategies to bring attention and solutions to the issue.
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