[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Rheumatic fever is very common in Samoa. The following paper describes the Rheumatic Fever Programme in Samoa and looks at the incidence of acute rheumatic fever (ARF) and rheumatic heart disease (RHD). The incidence of ARF has decreased to 30 per 100,000 in 2005, 12.8 per 100,000 in 2007, 7.3 per 100,000 in 2008, and 9.5 per 100,000 in 2009. The incidence of RHD has decreased to 40.2 per 100,000 in 2007, 34 per 100,000 in 2008, and 31.8 per 100,000 in 2009. Cardiac surgery in New Zealand is expensive, but is cheaper to perform in Samoa. RHD screening with echocardiogram at schools may be the best way to reduce the burden and suffering from RHD.
The New Zealand medical journal 02/2011; 124(1329):26-35.