Assessing the burden of rheumatic heart disease among refugee children: a call to action

A recent editorial in Lancet, advocates for a better and more universal access to healthcare for refugees landing in Europe. The arguments of equity, social justice and cost– effectiveness are clearly explained in the comment. Among the different suggestions to improve the refugees’ health, the authors invite the policy makers to opt for strategies favoring the “provision of preventive care, including primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease” which “could generate savings for health–care systems by alleviating the burden of stroke, and myocardial infarction”. Building on their advice, MSF launched a Call to Action outlining the need for providing primary and secondary preventive care for acquired cardiac diseases in refugee children. The Call to Action specifies that in order to tackle the evolution of rheumatic heart disease (RHD), specific control programs based on the concurrent development of disease registers along with the consistent delivering of benzathine penicillin G injections, need to be strengthened by a decentralized echocardio–based active case finding activities, comprehensively integrated into the existing primary health care services.

Heart Disease

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