n South African Medical Journal - Rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease in Africa : editorial

Volume 105, Issue 5
  • ISSN : 0256-9574
  • E-ISSN: 2078-5135



Acute rheumatic fever (ARF), with its varied and potentially devastating cardiac complication of rheumatic heart disease (RHD), has largely been eradicated from developing countries, but continues to be a scourge mainly in poorly resourced areas of the world and also among the indigenous populations of some wealthy countries such as New Zealand and Australia. The disease is particularly prevalent in populations where there is overcrowding and high levels of poverty. Efforts have been made to commit to the elimination of ARF/RHD in South Africa (SA) and the rest of Africa. The Drakensberg Declaration, which initiated and promoted the Awareness, Surveillance, Advocacy and Prevention (ASAP) programme to raise public awareness, establish surveillance programmes, advocate for support and promote prevention, was adopted at the 1st All Africa Workshop on Rheumatic Fever and Rheumatic Heart Disease held in the Drakensberg, SA, in 2005.

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