The Importance of Awareness and Education in Prevention and Control of RHD
Liesl J. Zühlke ,
Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital, Cape Town; Department of Medicine, Groote Schuur Hospital, Cape Town; University of Cape Town, Cape Town, ZA
Mark E. Engel
Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital, Cape Town, ZA
Acute rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease are diseases of poverty, low socioeconomic status, and inadequate access to health care. These preventable diseases remain largely ignored by the developed world while they continue to cause significant mortality and morbidity in the developing world. In the face of no existing cure, we need to focus on prevention and control methods. To this end, creating awareness of the disease and its effects on millions of people in the world is critically important. In this review, we will outline the importance of these efforts, discuss the barriers to awareness and education, and highlight some important models in this arena. We strongly support awareness-raising and health promotion strategies as an integral part of a rheumatic heart disease prevention and control program.
01 Sep 2013.