Rheumatic heart disease (RHD) is a serious disease involving permanent damage to the heart valves after a person has acute rheumatic fever (ARF).
Severe RHD can lead to conditions such as heart failure, stroke, disability and premature death. It most commonly affects children and young people and the effects can be lifelong. Timor-Leste has one of the highest rates of RHD in the world.
RHD is preventable with early detection and access to treatment.
We are currently supporting the Ministry of Health by promoting early detection and running the national database of RHD patients, helping manage the 434 current patients living with RHD in Timor-Leste. A treatment program can last up to 10 years.
Listen to Dr Joaquina talk on local news about Maluk Timors Program.