Backchat investigates Rheumatic Heart Disease in Australia

October 3rd 2016

rhd

Image: Emmanuelle Clarke 

“Non-Aboriginal kids aren’t getting acute rheumatic fever – and that is because Australia has enjoyed economic prosperity. But over the past 20 years, that hasn’t happened to Aboriginal kids as a whole.”

It seems pretty far-fetched that getting a sore throat as a kid could mean you’re on the path to heart disease.

Rheumatic Heart Disease starts off like a cold, but inflammation caused by the strep bacteria can irreversibly damage the heart.

It’s described as a disease of poverty, so it might surprise you that Australia has one of the highest rates of Rheumatic Heart Disease in the world.

Backchat reporter Emily Jane Smith took a closer look, talking to Indigenous rapper Nelson Baker and Claire Boardman, Deputy Director of RHDAustralia.

Check out Sticking to Treatment, a rap video written and performed by Nelson Baker, at Vimeo.

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Contributor

Oscar is Backchat‘s digital producer.

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