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RHD Action Announces Small Grants Programme Recipients

29 June 2017
@OtukoRachel / Twitter

RHD Action is pleased to announce the recipients of the first round of the RHD Action Small Grants programme. Five proposals were selected from over 20 high quality submissions from 3 continents. All of the funded projects focus on the People and Communities section of the RHD Action Priorities Pyramid and involve activities and programmes for people living with RHD, and / or building health worker capacity, and promoting community awareness.

More details on the successful recipients and the funded projects can be found below:

2017 RHD Action Small Grants Programme Recipients

Project PI: Dr Tangeni Auala 
Project Title: Namibian Rheumatic Heart Disease Ambassador Program Pilot
Project Institution: Rheumatic Heart Disease Clinic, Windhoek Central Hospital, Windhoek, Namibia 
Project Site: Communities in Windhoek, Namibia

Short Synopsis: 
The RHD Patient Ambassador Program is a patient-driven empowerment project for people living with rheumatic heart disease (PLW RHD) in order to raise awareness about rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease amongst their communities in Windhoek, Namibia.

Ten PLW RHD and ten healthcare workers will work together to arrange a series of educational workshops for patients about RHD and create a national RF and RHD awareness campaign that is patient centred and patient driven. The objective is to increase awareness and inspire other PLW RHD and their communities in Namibia.


Project PI: Ms. Dilys Kemunto, 
Project Title: Hearts to Hearts -A Rheumatic Heart Disease (RHD) awareness campaign
Project Institution: Young Professionals Chronic Disease Network (YPCDN) Moi University, School of Medicine, Eldoret, Kenya
Project Site: Eldoret Town

Short Synopsis: 
This project will target approximately 500 children and caregivers, and 20 volunteers from YP-CDN and at least 5 medical personnel. The project will seek to empower those living with RHD at the same time educating young children on RHD prevention.

Our focus audience will be young primary school-going children, aged between 7-14 years old within Eldoret town. They will be in school and therefore easy to reach and approach. The second target group will be those already living with RHD, their caregivers and survivors of the disease who will be instrumental in forming a support group.


Project PI: Dr Sai Boladuadua on behalf of RHD Action Fiji Islands, 
Project Title: Empowering and Supporting Young People Living with RHD through leadership and support activities
Project Institution: Ministry of Health and Medical Services / Cure Kids NZ, 
Project Site: Kila World Adventure Park, Suva, Fiji

Short Synopsis: 
To conduct a one day patient and carer led, adolescent focussed, event that brings young people together for the first time in Fiji with a shared experience of living with ARF/RHD. Approximately 50 young people, aged between 16 and 25 years, living with ARF/RHD, will be invited to participate.  

This activity will be conducted at Kila Park (one hour from the capital Suva) which offers a series of physical obstacle courses and picnic facilities. The event will be self-catered. The activity will include small group leaders (PLW RHD) who will be assigned to a group of 10 participants for the day. With support from the MoHMS team member, it will be their role to lead discussions / story sharing / RHD quizzes and to support individuals in their group for the day.         


Project PI: Dr Amy Sims Sanyahumbi
Project Title: Rheumatic Heart Disease Education in Malawi
Project Institution: Baylor College of Medicine / Texas Children's Hospital
Project Site: Kamuzu Central Hospital (KCH), Llongwe, Malawi

Short Synopsis: 
We will create an educational workshop on RHD, with particular emphasis on BPG safety and importance.  We will pilot the workshop at Kamuzu Central Hospital (KCH) and other health facilities in Malawi. In this initial phase, will target 50 health care workers including nurses, clinical officers, and physicians. Pre and post-test measures will be taken.  

Teaching sessions will be based on TIPS teaching material.  BPG safety session will be based on a BPG allergy presentation designed by Dr. Aiden Long, which was previously given in Zambia.  Dr. Sanyahumbi will lead the sessions on RHD diagnosis and treatment and a KCH nursing colleague will lead sessions on BPG administration.


Project PI: Dr John Musuku, Dr Mwansa K Lubeya and Dr Mercy M Imakando
Project Institution: University Teaching Hospitals
Project Title: Championing Sexual Reproductive Health amongst female Adolescents and women living with Rheumatic Heart Disease in Zambia 
Project Site: University Teaching Hospitals - Cardiac, women and newborn clinics Lusaka, Zambia

Short Synopsis:     
The main objective is to increase awareness of sexual reproductive health among female adolescents and women living with rheumatic heart disease in Zambia. The project aims to increase pregnancy safety for women with RHD through patient education and community sensitisation. This will be done through small group discussions that will be conducted in paediatrics and adult cardiac clinics. The primary target group will be RHD patients coming for their routine hospital follow up visits.

Each session will be led by a peer educator and a Registrar. The outline of the talks will include general health, abstinence from premarital sex, effective family planning methods, pre-conceptual counselling and care during pregnancy. Closed loop communication will be encouraged throughout the entire discussion. Leaflets and charts will be used as visual aids. Participants will be given free information leaflets to carry home as reference materials

The secondary target group will be care givers of RHD patients and to a minor extent school going adolescents. Sensitisation through targeted talks in secondary schools, with the desire of increasing awareness on RHD and Sexual Reproductive Health as a whole will be conducted.


Highlights and updates on the projects will be featured on our website over the coming months. Keep up to date via our newsfeed and follow us on Twitter for updates on the RHD Action Small Grants Projects and all the latest RHD news.