RHD Control Program Objectives and Description:
To decrease the incidence of ARF and RHD by 25% in those less than 25 years by the year 2025
(Derived from the World Heart Federation position statement (8))
A. To increase the awareness (link to awareness material) about RHD in Khartoum and States through structured programs directed to physicians, nurses, health workers, teachers and the public.
B. Training of health personnel including physicians, nurses, medical assistants (link to training manuals).
C. Establishing a national registry for RHD.
D. Establishing screening programs for RHD for school children in Khartoum and States.
E. Establishing strong advocacy through social, political and media channels.
F. Consolidation of primary and secondary prevention through awareness and training.
G. Ensuring the continuous supply of good quality benzathine penicillin.
H. To plan and conduct research that can have an impact on RHD control
I. To collaborate with national, regional and international organizations concerned with RHD control.
Description of the Current RHD Control Program:
June 2012, the Working Group on Pediatric Cardiology and the Sudan Heart Society together with the Sudanese Association of Pediatricians initiated a program for RHD control that was conveyed to the MOH. It was based on Awareness, Surveillance, Advocacy and Prevention (A.S.A.P.) adopted from a program endorsed at the 1st All Africa Workshop on Rheumatic Fever and Rheumatic Heart Disease held in South Africa in October 2005.
The ASAP program was convened by the Pan African Society of Cardiology (PASCAR), sponsored by the World Health Organization -Africa Office (WHO-AFRO), and the World Heart Federation (WHF).
It has been executed in many countries with remarkable success including South Africa, Nigeria Mozambique. Similar programs based on primary prevention were adopted in India and Pacific Islands and had led to eradication of RHD in Cuba and Costa Rica.
The main difference between ASAP and previous programs is that it is implementing primary prevention of ARF using clinical criteria for bacterial pharyngitis (sore throat with no runny nose in those 4-18 years of age) and treatment by single injection of benzathine penicillin.
The Tools for Achieving the Objectives of ASAP:
A. Robust awareness raising campaigns through utilizing different information, education communication (IEC) means including mass media, printing of health education and promotional materials , workshops and seminars as well as home visits. The main target group will be the population at most risk.
B. Training workshops for medical staff
C. Strengthening the early detection and surveillance system through establishing more clinics and training physicians in Khartoum and each of the 4 regions (Darfur, Kordofan, Central & East and North) and school screening by auscultation and echocardiography.
D. Advocacy among the health profession (through workshops and seminar) as well as among social and political groups through media programs like films, radio and TV advertisement, street signs, mobile messages etc. Also through attending international meetings and conferences.