A three part series in The Conversation has revealed that for many Indigenous children a basic sore throat or skin sore can be the start of a tragic pathway to rheumatic heart disease.
Rheumatic heart disease is responsible for the highest gap in life expectancy between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians…the condition trumps diabetes and kidney failure.
For most, the road to rheumatic heart disease is avoidable but not for many Aboriginal children.
Young Indigenous Australians in the Northern Territory are 122 times more likely to have rheumatic heart disease than their non-Indigenous counterparts. Professor Jonathan Carapetis from the Telethon Kids Institute explains why.