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$20 million to fight rheumatic fever

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Latest Health News | Monday May 6 2013 12:43

$20 million to fight rheumatic fever

Over $20 million of extra money is to be put towards fighting rheumatic fever.

Minister of Health Tony Ryall has made the pre-Budget announcement in Porirua this morning.

He says $21.3 million is to be allocated to the health sector for health initiatives over the next four years.

"What we know is rheumatic fever is a third world disease that has unacceptable levels of prevalence here in New Zealand, particularly amongst our Maori and Pacific communities."

The funding is new money and is additional to the $24 million currently budgeted for anti-rheumatic fever work.

Porirua based Public Health Nurse Chris Campbell says the rates of rheumatic fever doubled between 2005 and 2010 and there have been clusters of acute cases in Porirua.

She hopes the new money will make a difference.

"Since we started our programme we haven't had any new rheumatic fever cases in the schools that we're working at, in the age range we're working with.

"It's only been 18 months but we're pretty excited about that as well."

Photo: Stock.xchng

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