The aim of the project is to coordinate prevention and treatment programs and target efforts to address acute rheumatic fever (ARF) and rheumatic heard disease (RHD) by providing:

  • National education, training and self-management resources for primary care to assist with the detection and treatment of ARF and RHD
  • A Data Collection System and performance monitoring for current activities in the detection and management of ARF/RHD
  • Support to the jurisdictions with implementation of the DCS and provision of accurate data and reports in accordance with consistent and evidence based practice.

The objectives are to:

  • support RHD control programs by providing technical assistance; promoting best practice through education and training initiatives; and improving data quality and integrity and analysis and reporting capabilities.
  • develop the RHDAustralia Data Collection system, a central repository for collection and reporting of ARF and RHD data against a recommended clinical data set and key performance indicators.
  • promote evidence based best practice to develop education, training and resources that are in line with the Australian guideline for the prevention, diagnosis and management of acute rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease (2nd addition).
  • Increase community awareness of ARF/RHD and its prevention by working with affiliated organisations to increase awareness of ARF/RHD among health professionals, those living with disease, families, affected communities and the Australian public.

RHDAustralia was established in 2009 as the National Coordination Unit under the Commonwealth Government’s Rheumatic Fever Strategy. Between 2009 and 2012, RHD Australia completed a revision and published The Australian guideline for prevention, diagnosis and management of acute rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease. Additionally, RHD Australia developed a suite of resources to support clinicians and health workers with the application of the guideline, including phone apps and E-learning modules.

In the period 2012 – 2015, RHDAustralia continued to work with four jurisdictions funded under the Rheumatic Fever Strategy: Queensland, Western Australia, South Australia and the Northern Territory in the development and provision of evidence based resources and high quality education and training.

Between 2015 – 2017, RHDAustralia will:

  • Coordinate the 3rd edition of the National ARF/RHD guidelines
  • Collaborate with institutional partners of the CRE: Endgame for RHD (insert hyperlink here to this page within the RHDA website)
  • Commence data analysis and reporting against the DCS
  • Develop community based resources to promote awareness and early detection of ARF/RHD
  • Complete the ARF/RHD Public Health Guideline (Series of National Guidelines known as SoNGs produced under the auspices of CDNA) 
  • Deliver high quality clinical education through the provision of workshops and seminars
  •  Launch the Facebook App for Self-management of Secondary Prophylaxis
Implications for policy and practice:

RHDA collaborates with several institutional partners to produce high quality evidence based resources and acts as a pipeline from research to policy, advocacy and service delivery.

Deputy director:
Clinical director:
Information for study participants to get involved with this project:
Project dates:

Funded under the National Rheumatic Fever Strategy until June 2017.

Key RHDAustralia staff:
  • Professor Bart Currie, director
  • Claire Boardman, deputy director
  • Dr Anna Ralph, clinical director
  • Karen Dempsey, senior epidemiologist
  • Catherine Halkon, projects manager
  • Catherine Milne, database liaison officer
  • Rosemary Harbridge, project officer
  • Sara Noonan, technical advisor
  • Sean Rung, communications and project support officer
  • Commonwealth of Australia Department of Health

RHDAustralia has developed a suite of educational resources, based on the Australian guideline for the prevention, diagnosis and management of ARF and RHD (2nd edition), for health professionals and communities. These can be accessed on the RHDAustralia website, along with a resource database of Australian ARF and RHD educational tools.


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