Funding targets rheumatic fever

Last updated 10:49 06/05/2013

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The Government is pledging an extra $5 million a year to tackle the high rate of rheumatic fever among children.

Health minister Tony Ryall and associate health minister Tariana Turia made the pre-Budget announcement in Porirua this morning.

They hope to reduce the incidence of rheumatic fever by two-thirds by June 2017.

"The disease predominantly affects Maori and Pacific children and the new money will help local communities and health providers to work together for at risk children," Ryall said.

The $21.3m over four years almost doubles a $24m investment made as part of an agreement with the Maori Party, he said.

More than $11m, over four years, will fund free sore throat drop-in clinics in Auckland and Porirua.

Another $4.72m will fund an awareness campaign, $1.6 million will be invested in research on a rheumatic fever vaccine and $3.75 million will go towards an Auckland-wide healthy homes referral and advice service.

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