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Fiji launches National Rheumatic Fever Information System

03 August 2016
Participants of a national RHD consultation meeting held on 20th July, 2016

The Fiji Ministry of Health and Medical Services recently launched the Rheumatic Fever Information System (RFIS) which was formally launched by the Minister for Health and Medical Services, Hon. Jone Usamate.

The Rheumatic Fever Information System (RFIS) allows medical staff to record the injections received by patients and monitor adherence to penicillin ongoing treatment.

The system was developed in conjunction with Datec Fiji Ltd following extensive consultation with health workers and local RHD experts. The system is modelled on international best practice in RHD patient management systems.

The Minister for Health and Medical Services, Hon. Jone Usamate said “There are many barriers to patients receiving their injections, and this new Rheumatic Fever Information System (RFIS) will be one of a number of activities aimed at improving management and support to patients, especially patients who are missing, or stopped going to the clinic for regular treatment.”

The launch of the system followed a national RHD stakeholder meeting which discussed and progressed other aspects of the RHD Program including the early detection of RHD cases and the recently developed clinical guidelines for rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease.

“These significant milestones have come as a result of large-scale investment and Ministry commitment to strengthening the RHD response including improvements in patient care and support as well as strategies aimed at increasing awareness about the link between sore throat and rheumatic heart disease,” said RHD Control and Prevention Project Lead, Liz Kennedy.

RHD is a common yet preventable heart condition, causing significant morbidity, disability and mortality through childhood, adolescence and early adult life. Recent research has shown that RHD affects as many as 1 in 50 children aged 5-15 in Fiji.

The RHD Program in Fiji has benefitted from a variety of innovative approaches and partnership. The Ministry of Health enjoys ongoing support from both the public and private sector. Since 2009, Cure Kids has supported RHD activities through ongoing funding from foundation key partner Accor Hotels and support from Fiji Water Foundation who also provided specific funding for the RFIS. The New Zealand Partnerships for International Development Fund is a major contributor to the current phase of the program with the technical support provided by Murdoch Children’s Research Institute and the Auckland District Health Board.

For more information:
RHD Action Policy brief: Nurturing Children: RHD in the Pacific Islands
Fiji Ministry of Health and Medical Services | RHD Program
The Jet | Health Ministry Launches Rheumatic Fever Information System
The Fiji Times | Children susceptible to rheumatic heart disease
Fiji Sun Online | Rheumatic Disease System Launched
Fiji Broadcasting Corporation | New Information system for rheumatic heart disease