In South Australia, while acute rheumatic fever (ARF) is rare among non-Indigenous Australians, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are over-represented among people with ARF and rheumatic heart disease (RHD), especially in remote communities.
In South Australia, the collection of ARF and RHD notifications is funded by the Australian Government Department of Health. Both ARF and RHD have been notifiable in South Australia since 2016. The RHD control program was established in 2010 and the register established in 2012.
At 31 December 2020, there were 353 people living with a diagnosis of ARF and/or RHD in South Australia, representing 3.9% of the total 9,158 people recorded across all 5 jurisdictional registers. Of these 353 people in South Australia, 129 people (37%) had only ARF recorded on the register, 126 people (36%) had only RHD recorded and 98 people (28%) had both ARF and RHD recorded (Supplementary Overview Table 1).
Region of management
For each person recorded on a register, the region of management is recorded. This is the area where the patient was most recently reported to receive the majority of the primary health care for their ARF or RHD. The region of management may differ from the person’s region of diagnosis and the notifying jurisdiction. Each state or territory defines regions uniquely, based on its own specific health services boundaries. There are 33 regions spread over Queensland, Western Australia, South Australia, and the Northern Territory. NSW is considered as a whole. Regions do not cross state and territory boundaries.
Remote South Australia had a higher management rate than the Regional and Urban regions (311 cases per 100,000 population, compared with 16 and 8.5, respectively) (Figure 2.1) (Supplementary Overview Table 4).