Making heart health history
Like many in the international heart health community, we rejoiced this month when the 71st World Health Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland, unanimously adopted a resolution calling for a coordinated global response to end rheumatic heart disease (RHD) world-wide.
This was an historic decision – the first time that RHD has been recognised as a global health priority on the world stage.
It was also a proud moment for the government of Timor-Leste. Timor-Leste’s government representatives made a speech in front of the world in support of the resolution, reaffirming the government’s commitment to taking action on RHD. This commitment included the announcement in April by the Timor-Leste Ministério da Saúde (Ministry of Health) to partner with organisations including East Timor Hearts Fund and the World Health Organisation to develop and RHD action plan by the end of the year.
The government of Timor-Leste’s renewed focus on RHD follows the release in April of our landmark rheumatic heart disease prevalence study, which showed that Timor-Leste has amongst the world’s highest rates of this treatable, preventable condition.
East Timor Hearts Fund looks forward to working with our friends the Ministry of Health, and our partners in Timor-Leste, to help put an end to the rheumatic heart disease in Timor-Leste. In the meantime, we continue to partner on preventative health and education initiatives, such as our penicillin program, and to identify and offer surgery for the most critical cases.
Read CEO Stuart Thomson's special update.
Find out more about our work for healthy hearts in Timor-Leste.