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Peers to promote rheumatic fever awareness

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 31/10/2016

Youth ambassadors will be recruited by the government to talk to raise awareness of rheumatic fever among their peers.

The preventable illness, characterised by inflammation and joint pain, predominantly affects children and young people.

Almost 100 young people, aged between 11 and 19, will be recruited across Northland and greater Auckland to speak at school events, put on theatrical performances and spread awareness through their communities.

Maori and Pacific children will make up most of the recruits, reflecting those groups most at risk of rheumatic fever.

"Direct interaction between peers can promote active learning, as young people can feel more comfortable and open when interacting with a peer," Acting Youth Minister Anne Tolley said announcing the programme with Health Minister Jonathan Coleman.

Recruitment and training is expected to begin next month, with awareness programmes to begin next year.

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