2 November 2022

Medical and educational visits to Indigenous communities in QLD

The Queensland Deadly Heart Trek aiming to end Rheumatic Heart Disease has finished. We received very positive feedback during the visit, and we are now following up with communities to gain further feedback. 

Five communities up in the Cape and Torres region invited the Deadly Heart Trek team to visit and provide education, diagnosis, and treatment of rheumatic heart disease (RHD). Two experienced multi-disciplinary teams consisting of health workers, doctors, nurses, and community leads went on the listening and action tour.

Together with the communities, the teams of First Nations and non First Nations people worked to provide heart screenings for children to diagnose and treat the silent and totally preventable disease that is RHD.

Summary of results from five communities – Cape and Torres Strait Island

• 2,500 Number of children and families educated on RHD and skin

• 978 Children’s hearts screened

• 931 Healthy hearts

• 31 New RHD cases diagnosed and treated  (23 definite + 8 borderline)

• 16 Known definite RHD cases

• 9 New congenital heart disease – two were referred to Queensland Children’s Hospital for surgical or catheter intervention

• 2.4% had a new definite diagnosis of RHD, all mild early disease

• 4% had definite RHD

2.4% of all children had definite RHD. The World Heart Federation considers a community where more than 0.1% of children have RHD, to be a high burden of RHD. 

Enjoy the Boom Boom song and My Heart Keeps Beating, used in the education sessions to teach children how to prevent RHD.

Thank you to everyone who helped us get here: the communities up n the Cape and Torres Strait, the Deadly Heart Trek delivery teams, RHDAustralia, Take Heart Project, One Disease, NT Cardiac, HeartKids, Queensland Health, Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation, Heart Foundation Australia, Orange Sky, VioletCo and The Snow Foundation.

If you missed the launch media coverage, here it is: watch WIN TV storywatch 7News story, The North West StarMirage News

Thank you from The Deadly Heart Trek Steering Committee,

Vicki Wade – First Nations cultural advisor, Dr Ben Reeves, Dr Rob Justo, Dr Bo Remenyi, Karen Iles – social justice lawyer Violet Co, Georgina Byron – CEO The Snow Foundation