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HERDIN Record #: PCHRD17072810070865 Submitted: 28 July 2017 Modified: 19 December 2017

Update on the rheumatic fever-rheumatic heart disease (RF/RHD) prevention and control program in the Philippines.

Santiago V. Guzman

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A study of RF/RHD in several regions in the Philippines among schoolchildren aged six to 15 years in 1978 showed a prevalence rate of 0.9 per 1000, about ten times more compared to most western countries. A hospital registry for RF/RHD established in 1978-80 at the Philippine Heart Center and Philippine General Hospital showed a compliance rate to secondary penicillin prophylaxis of 87-90% when the drug was given free. The compliance rate to secondary prophylaxis considerably decreased when penicillin subsidy was discontinued. In another study, a rural hospital registry is feasible utilizing primary health workers in the recognition of RF/RHD. Once the diagnosis is verified, secondary penicillin prophylaxis can be administered by the primary health workers.

An ongoing RF-RHD prevention and control program consists of case finding among schoolchildren aged five to 15 years in two areas near Manila. After initial training on the recognition of RF-RHD, municipal health officers and school physicians examined the schoolchildren for heart murmurs. Those detected to have murmurs are re-examined by cardiologists and patients identified with RF-RHD are registered in the community hospital for secondary penicillin prophylaxis and follow-up. Primary prevention of RF-RHD is also being carried out among schoolchildren thru integration in the school curriculum of basic information about cardiovascular diseases, including rheumatic fever.

Publication Type
Publication Sub Type
Journal Article, Original
ASEAN Heart Journal
Publication Date
July-December 1993
LocationLocation CodeAvailable FormatAvailability
Philippine Council for Health Research and Development Library Fulltext Print Format