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Jennifer

Jennifer Cottrell

Year of Award: 2016 Award State: South Australia Health And Medicine > Diseases, Disorders And Syndromes
The Sir William Kilpatrick Churchill Fellowship to explore innovative rheumatic heart disease prevention strategies and apply them to Australia - New Zealand, Spain, South Africa, Kenya
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Major lessons

  • Australia needs to broaden its prevention efforts to include primary and primordial prevention to ensure a comprehensive approach to preventing RHD.
  • PLWRHD need to contribute from the very beginning of strategy development, and the solutions need to be viewed from their perspective.
  • Peer to peer education can have a significant impact on the outcome of education strategies as peers listen to each other.
  • Support groups need to happen organically. Creating space for people to meet each other and share stories is an important step is a valuable starting point.
  • Supporting people to have their injections at a time and place suitable for them leads to high levels of adherence, seen in the nurse nurse-led secondary prevention program
  • A simple approach to improving sore throat and skin sore management may be the best option for Australia such as an algorithm to support treatment in high risk populations.
  • Criteria for housing interventions need to include all vulnerable populations, including children diagnosed with RF. A commitment beyond the health sector, including housing, social services and environmental health, is important to ensure initiatives are sustainable. Stakeholders need to be identified and involved early to ensure the establishment of strong partnerships.
  • Political will plays an important role in determining action on RHD. A robust government target mandating cross-sectorial involvement may result in significant outcomes. 
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