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Pat Turner, CEO of NACCHO and Co-Chair of END RHD, addresses peak Aboriginal medical services about the work of END RHD and its link to closing the gap.

Professor Carapetis presenting the Endgame recommendations to 500 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health workers at the annual NACCHO Conference in Darwin, November 2019.

For Pat Turner, CEO of the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO), the peak body for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health services, it made sense to join forces.

“Back in 2016, Professor Carapetis came to me with the idea of creating END RHD – an alliance between the Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Sector and health and research bodies, all committed to ending RHD,” Ms Turner said.

“When he outlined the plan, it became clear that we had an unprecedented opportunity to end this devastating disease, and in doing so, contribute to closing the gap.

Now, four years on from that initial meeting, and with the Endgame Strategy ready for release, the END RHD alliance is making sure the evidence base is available to everyone – including those living with the disease and working to end it.

Professor Carapetis said the priority was to ensure the Strategy was implemented as a matter of priority.

“What we now need is to see the Endgame Strategy translated into policy and practice,” he said.

Ms Turner agreed: “It is unconscionable to let our people suffer as a result of rheumatic heart disease when we now have an Endgame to prevent it,” she said.

What's next?

  • END RHD continues to advocate for the implementation of the Endgame recommendations at the State and Commonwealth level.