An award-winning documentary raising awareness of an invisible disease threatening the lives of thousands of Indigenous people is showing in Katherine this Sunday.
Take Heart: The Quest to Rid Australasia of Rheumatic Heart Disease, will be screening in more than 30 locations across Australia for National Close The Gap Day.
The disease, while preventable and virtually eliminated from the rest of Australia, still affects many young people in remote communities.
Researchers, health professionals and advocates have spent countless hours in communities in the fight against one of the leading causes of death among young Indigenous people.
"In 2018, the World Health Assembly passed a resolution on RHD requiring countries, like Australia, to completely eliminate this preventable disease," the film's spokeswoman said.
"In response, the Take Heart team is working with organisations and groups across Australia to spread the word about RHD by screening their impactful film Take Heart."
The documentary is on a mission to raise awareness and education in communities while garnering greater support from politicians to stop unnecessary deaths from the disease.
"Through the upcoming grassroots events across the country we are hoping to shine a light on the remarkable progress that has been made to prevent RHD in Australia through community-led solutions," director of Take Heart, Mike Hill said.
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"We also hope to demonstrate to the government the priorities needed to put a stop to RHD."
Medical professionals and researchers have discovered the Northern Territory has the highest rates of preventable RHD in the world, with five per cent of children being affected by this deadly disease.
NT paediatric cardiologist and 2018 NT Australian of the Year, Bo Remenyi said the documentary is a powerful tool in the fight against RHD.
"After children watch these videos, we see more prevention, and children self-identifying their sore throats and skin sores so they can get early treatment," she said.
"For those who don't know much about RHD, it's a powerful introduction."
RHD starts with a sore throat or infected skin sores,the disease can cause arrhythmia, stroke and heart failure. It is chronic, disabling and fatal if left untreated.
7pm Katherine Baptist Church Cholsh Ct, Katherine South.
Take Heart: The Quest to Rid Australasia of Rheumatic Heart Disease is being screened at 7pm this Sunday at Katherine Baptist Church.
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