1. CDU Enews | Menzies staffer wins national award for RHD research

    CDU Enews | Menzies staffer wins national award for RHD research

    Date

    Dr Josh Francis, a researcher from the Menzies School of Health Research, has been recognised by his national peers for his work on rheumatic heart disease (RHD) in Timor-Leste.

  2. Wire | RHD SCREENING CONTINUES

    Wire | RHD SCREENING CONTINUES

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    Health professionals and Maningrida stakeholders have come together to continue screenings of rheumatic heart disease (RHD).

  3. Wire | RHD SCREENING CONTINUES

    Wire | RHD SCREENING CONTINUES

    Date

    Health professionals and Maningrida stakeholders have come together to continue screenings of rheumatic heart disease (RHD).

  4. Timorese Government prepares plan to prevent and combat rheumatic heart disease

    Timorese Government prepares plan to prevent and combat rheumatic heart disease

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    The Timorese Ministry of Health is designing a prevention and diagnosis plan, part of the Family Health program, to combat rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease, the ministry's minister announced today.

  5. DN Lusa - Timor-Leste Pedriño Study

    DN Lusa - Timor-Leste Pedriño Study

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    An Australian study has shown that Timor-Leste has one of the highest rates of rheumatic heart disease in the world, with most cases being diagnosed, until children and young people develop serious problems.

  6. Saving Lives of remote children | NT News

    Saving Lives of remote children | NT News

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    Darwin researchers have uncovered alarming rates of rheumatic heart disease in East Timorese children.

  7. Cardiologists identify alarming levels of rheumatic heart disease in Timor-Leste

    Cardiologists identify alarming levels of rheumatic heart disease in Timor-Leste

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    Research by Australian cardiologists has found the rates of rheumatic heart disease (RHD) in Timor-Leste are among the highest in the world. The landmark study was published in the Medical Journal of Australia.

  8. Rheumatic heart disease program in East Timor 'saving lives' with 'simple' penicillin injections

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    Australian doctors are working with East Timorese health workers to screen and treat children and young people with the illness, using methods similar to those used in Australia.

Aims:
  • To screen school students in Timor-Leste and the Northern Territory, using echocardiography to identify cases of rheumatic heart disease (RHD)
  • To determine the sensitivity and specificity of a highly abbreviated echo protocol for the detection of RHD, using a single parasternal long axis (PSLAX) view obtained by handheld echo machine
  • To demonstrate the feasibility of using briefly trained health workers doing PSLAX view echos to detect RHD
Summary:

We will screen children for RHD in a remote Northern Territory community and in Timor-Leste, to find new cases, so that these children can receive effective prevention with penicillin injections. 
Echo screening usually requires full exposure of the chest, which is time consuming and invasive, and makes screening in public settings such as schools challenging. Therefore, we will test a different approach to screening: using trained health workers to do echo screening with a single view at the centre of the chest, which can be done rapidly, without removing clothing. If this works well, it will be possible to train health workers so that they can screen many more school aged children more efficiently.

Implications for policy and practice:

We plan to use the findings of this study to establish a strategy for implementing this new rapid approach to screening on a large scale in Northern Australia and in Timor-Leste, enabling detection of many cases of rheumatic heart disease.

Chief Investigator:
Project Manager:
Project Dates: 
  • 1 September 2017 – 31 August 2018