WiRED International Releases Update of Rheumatic Heart Disease Module for Students


Rheumatic heart disease (RHD) is the most common heart disease in children and young adults in developing countries. WiRED has updated its RHD module for students to describe this serious but completely preventable disease.


Rheumatic heart disease, a condition in which permanent damage to heart valves is caused by an inflammatory disease called rheumatic fever, usually starts with a strep throat infection. The disease damages the heart valves, sometimes leading to death, and yet it can easily be prevented by treating strep throat. RHD is one of the truly preventable killers.


WiRED’s module describes RHD and its prevention, causes, symptoms and treatment. Students learn about the connection between strep throat, rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease in clear and engaging language they can understand. The module’s animations and quizzes are specifically targeted to young people to make the lesson interesting and instructive.


Children and young adults living in low-income countries suffer the most from rheumatic fever and RHD. The World Health Organization estimates that at least 15.6 million people are currently affected by RHD, with a significant number of them requiring repeated hospitalization and often unaffordable heart surgery.


In its dedication to eradicating RHD, WiRED offers an animated RHD video, profiled in an earlier story, as well as an extensive collection of RHD modules for grassroots audiences and health professionals with translations into Portuguese, Spanish, French, and soon into Arabic. In coordination with specialists in Australia and England, WiRED also offers a course for medical professionals on the echocardiographic diagnosis of rheumatic heart disease.