159061 - Primordial and Primary Prevention of ARF and RHD
- : Online
This module includes a description of the autoimmune response in relation to ARF and highlights risk factors for the disease. It includes a description of primordial and primary prevention including changes to environment and the development of a vaccination to prevent GAS infections.Relevance to General Practice
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations in Australia continue to experience among the highest rates of rheumatic heart disease (RHD) in the world. RHD is a chronic, often fatal, yet preventable disease that arises following acute rheumatic fever (ARF). ARF is an autoimmune response to an untreated group A streptococcal (Strep A) infection. It is a clear indicator of the gap in health equity given the incidence of ARF is approximately 59 per 100 000 among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and less than 1 per 100 000 for other Australians. Primary health care can contribute to primordial prevention by addressing crowding and other social determinants of health.
General Practitioners are well placed to identify people at increased risk and prevent progression to ARF from a Strep A throat or skin infection. Best practice resources are available to help GPs prevent disease and identify and manage patients at each phase of the disease continuum.