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Radio NZ Interviews: 'NZ's heart-breaker: rheumatic fever rates on the rise'

The AH+ website and the Mama’s House Facebook page detail the work AH+ has contributed towards raising awareness of Rheumatic Fever. Through this, Philippa Tolley, Executive Producer of the Radio NZ Insight programme approached Metua Bates (Pacific Integration and Development Services Manager) to help recruit rheumatic fever patients willing to be interviewed for the recently released radio segment and article; NZ’s heart-breaker: rheumatic fever rates on the rise’.

Metua coordinated the interviews and recruited two interviewees – Lolohea Palelei, a young lady with rheumatic fever and also the sister of Tofi Toelupe who passed away from rheumatic heart damage in 2018.

Tana Fishman (AH+ Clinical Director) recruited the third interviewee into the project, Joseph Tuala. Jo is a member of the Pacific People’s Health Advisory Group (PPHAG), created through the facilitation and support of AH+ and suffered rheumatic fever as a child. As a result of this he has had ongoing heart problems. Jo and Lolohea's experience was captured as a powerful supplementary video accompanying the main story.'

The PPHAG has contributed to the current CMDHB community co-design project – a collaboration between AH+, the PPHAG, and CMDHB. In addition, PPHAG has collaborated with University of Auckland (Professors Felicity Goodyear-Smith and Malakai ‘Ofanoa) and the newly formed AH+ Pacific Practice Based Research Network (PPBRN) was launched in December 2019.

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