This is what Rheumatic Relief looks like.
About The Rheumatic Relief Program
Rheumatic Relief is a collaborative effort that combines scientific disciplines to create a comprehensive program capable of effecting change and generating new and insightful information relative to rheumatic heart disease (RHD). The children we find that are sick usually don’t realize there is a reason for their symptoms, nor do they realize that the disease is life threatening. With the help from our students, medical professionals, volunteers, and donors, we can intervene and help these children lead relatively normal lives.
Program directors Lori & Marv Allen have been traveling to Samoa since 2009 assisting with the burden of rheumatic heart disease (RHD). BYU has been the primary custodian since 2016, when the formal name Rheumatic Relief was adopted.
The Rheumatic Relief Team is comprised of BYU students, cardiologists, cardiac sonographers, BYU faculty and staff, and dedicated volunteers. It takes approximately 12 months to fund and prepare for each annual trip.
Rheumatic Relief has flourished to become a viable clinical and educational program with the potential of saving the lives of hundreds of children, as well as contributing to the clinical protocol for the diagnosis of RHD. Included in the educational aspect is the training and certification of indigenous health care in the area of echocardiography, which offers the sustainability of this life-saving program.
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As of 2019 we have screened over 30,000 children for RHD
685 children have been diagnosed and referred to life-saving treatments
Various studies have been published on Rheumatic Heart Disease since first trip in 2009