Jurisdictional RHD control programs and registers

Under the Rheumatic Fever Strategy, the Australian Government provides funding to support RHD control programs in four jurisdictions: Queensland, Western Australia, South Australia and the Northern Territory.

These programs are funded to:

  • improve clinical care, including improved delivery of and adherence to secondary prophylaxis antibiotics
  • provide education and training for health care providers, individuals, families and communities
  • collect and provide agreed data annually to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) for national monitoring and reporting of ARF and RHD as well as measuring program effectiveness in the detection and management of ARF and RHD
  • maintain a dedicated state-wide patient register and recall system for ARF and RHD.

Information from the ARF/RHD registers in these four jurisdictions is compiled by the AIHW to provide information about ARF and RHD in Australia. The 2020 Australian guideline for the prevention, diagnosis and management of acute rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease describes a set of indicators recommended for monitoring ARF and RHD. This web-report presents data on those indicators that are currently able to be reported, including incidence and prevalence, characteristics of people with ARF and RHD, and delivery of secondary prevention. It also includes data on the geographic distribution of people being managed for ARF and RHD, and the use of surgical interventions.

Although an RHD control program and register also operates in New South Wales (NSW), this program is not currently covered under the Rheumatic Fever Strategy. The NSW register was established in 2016, with ARF and RHD becoming notifiable in NSW in 2015, and RHD being notifiable only in persons aged under 35. Data from NSW are presented in detail in a standalone section.