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$1m fund to tackle rheumatic fever

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 6/07/2016

The government has announced a $1 million one-off fund aimed at increasing awareness of rheumatic fever and reducing it in high-risk Maori communities

Health Minister Jonathan Coleman says it's a serious but preventable illness.

Children and young people from Maori and Pacific communities are the most vulnerable.

The fund will target six DHB regions where most of the cases occur - Northland, Counties Manukau, Waikato, Lakes, Bay of Plenty and Tairawhiti.

Those DHBs will distribute funding to Maori community groups for initiatives to test new solutions for increasing awareness and helping prevent rheumatic fever.

Dr Coleman says that nationally good progress is being made towards the target of reducing rheumatic fever by two-thirds by June 2017.

Latest figures show a 45 per cent reduction from 2012 to 2015 - including a 54 per cent reduction in cases among Maori.

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