School based swabbing programmes
United to Stop Sore Throats Hurting Hearts
The Bay of Plenty and Lakes rheumatic fever sector group
The rheumatic fever sector group is committed to reducing rates of rheumatic fever in the Bay of Plenty and Lakes districts. Most of the sector teams lead school based swabbing programmes and meet together once per term to share information, resources and ideas. The sector group consists of community health workers and nurses from:
• Eastern Bay Primary Health Alliance (Kawerau)
• Korowai Aroha (Rotorua)
• Hinepukohurangi Trust (Ruatahuna/Minginui)
• Ngati Awa Social and Health Services (Whakatane)
• Te Ika Whenua Hauora (Murupara)
• Te Kaokao o Takapau (Tuhoe rohe)
• Te Manu Toroa (Tauranga)
• Toi Te Ora - Public Health Service (Bay of Plenty and Lakes)
• Whakatohea Iwi Social and Health Services (Opotiki)
School based swabbing programmes in the Bay of Plenty
The Bay of Plenty school based throat swabbing programmes are aimed at preventing rheumatic fever by detecting and treating streptococcal throat infection (‘strep throat’).
Sandra Ball is employed by Eastern Bay Primary Health Alliance (EBPHA) as the rheumatic fever clinical lead. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
All of the children featured on the ‘sore throats matter’ pamphlets have experienced acute rheumatic fever. Tutohia, Michael and Mersayde and their whanau have generously agreed to represent their communities and share their stories to help raise awareness about rheumatic fever. For further information please click here.
Opotiki rheumatic fever prevention project
Whakatohea Iwi Social and Health Services (WISH) have successfully led the Opotiki project, which commenced in October 2009. Nita Walker and Awatea Pickard, community health workers from WISH, visit Opotiki schools twice per week and take throat swabs from consented children reporting a sore throat. The swabs are tested for Group A Streptococcus (GAS) bacteria.
By detecting and treating strep throat in school children, rheumatic fever is less likely to develop. If ‘strep throat’ is diagnosed, the doctor prescribes a 10 day course of antibiotics. It is important that the whole 10 day course is completed to prevent rheumatic fever. The project team maintains contact with parents/whanau to answer any queries that may arise during the ten days of antibiotic treatment.
Kawerau rheumatic fever prevention project
The Kawerau project, led by Eastern Bay Primary Health Alliance (EBPHA) began school-based throat swabbing in February 2011. The community wealth workers are Liisa Wana and Melissa Bennett.
The project was officially launched by Tony Ryall, Minister of Health, at Kawerau South School on 20 May 2011. Click here to read about the official launch.
Murupara rheumatic fever prevention project
The Murupara project, led by Te Ika Whenua Hauora (TIWH) commenced throat swabbing in May 2011. The project was officially launched by Tariana Turia, Associate Minister of Health, at Te Kura Kaupapa Motuhake O Tawhiuau on 10 June 2011. Moana Hall is the community health worker.
Click here to read about the official launch of the Murupara rheumatic fever prevention project.
Tuhoe rheumatic fever prevention project
Click here to read about the official lauch of the project launch.
Toi Te Ora - Public Health Service has an overview role ensuring that the rheumatic fever projects remain co-ordinated and appropriately supported.
Heart Foundation 'Sore Throats Matter' Teaching Units
The Heart Foundation has developed teaching units for years 1-8 based on the NZ school curriculum's Health and Physical Education plan.
The aim of the Teaching units is to increase awareness of rheumatic fever prevention to children and teachers in high risk populations of NZ.
Click here for the Sore Throats Matter Teaching Units.
Click here for the Sore Throats Matter Teachers Letter.