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American Samoans urged to watch for signs of rheumatic heart disease

Members of the Manumalo Academy National Junior Honor Society (NJHS) and National Honor Society (NHS) with the cardiology team from Oregon Health and Science University
Source: RNZI

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — The leader of a medical team screening children for strep throat and rheumatic heart disease in America Samoa is urging parents to pay attention when their children complain of sore throats or joints.

Laura Armsby is leading a nine-member team from Oregon Health and Science University that has been visiting the territory for the past 10 years.

During that time, they volunteer their services to screen for these conditions in children and Dr Armsby said rheumatic heart disease was preventable in children.

"It's getting attention from people across the world and they are starting to put more resources into it.

"So, I am hoping that they will put resources into American Samoa to create a system that prevents it, and then if it does happen then those kids get identified early and treated."