Aims:
  • SP Plus: An expanded model of secondary prevention for individuals with rheumatic fever or rheumatic heart disease (RHD) and their families. 
Objectives:
  • Patients and their households will be supported to establish ‘Strep-free zones’ by exploring the roles of crowding, functioning health hardware and early recognition and treatment of sore throats and skin sores
Summary:

Children and young adults with rheumatic fever need long-term penicillin injections, called secondary prophylaxis (SP). 
But this is not enough to stop rheumatic fever recurrences that may lead to permanent heart damage, since not everyone can get every needle on time every 28 days for years on end.
We need to add a ‘plus’ to the standard secondary prophylaxis by adding another layer of prevention that stops streptococcal infections at their source. This needs to happen at the household level, employing Aboriginal people within their communities to support families affected by rheumatic fever.

Implications for policy and practice:

Acute rheumatic fever (ARF) and its complication rheumatic heart disease (RHD) lead to premature morbidity and mortality, and occur at unacceptably high rates in Aboriginal communities. Yet ARF/RHD is entirely preventable by stopping transmission of streptococcal infection and by ensuring adherence to treatment.

We want to add a ‘plus’ to the standard secondary prophylaxis by adding primordial and primary prevention at the household level employing people within the community. 

Patients and their households will be supported to establish ‘Strep-free zones’ by exploring the roles of crowding, functioning health hardware and early recognition and treatment of sore throats and skin sores.

Chief investigator and project manager:

Contact information:

Project dates:

This is a pilot feasibility study which will run in selected communities in the NT’s Top End over 12 months 2017-2018.