2016 Rheumatic Fever Awareness Campaign

The campaign launched on national media channels on 1 May

The Rheumatic Fever Awareness Campaign ran from 1 May to 31 August. Advertisements developed in 2014 and 2015 were used across TV, radio, print and social media channels.

The main objective of the 2016 campaign was the same as in previous campaigns - to continue to promote awareness of preventative messages focussing on sore throats

Campaign resources in 2016

Check out additional 2016 resources here.

Resources produced for the 2015 Rheumatic Fever Awareness Campaign are still available for download.

Insights that informed the 2016 campaign

The Ministry of Health commissioned an in-depth Evaluation of the 2015 Rheumatic Fever Awareness Campaign. Some of the results of the evaluation:

  • 95% of the target audience having seen or heard the campaign
  • 74% of the target audience having unprompted recall of the campaign
  • 88% reported taking action in response to engaging with the campaign
  • 68% reported taking a children with a sore throat to the doctor or nurse to have it checked. With 50% advising a friend or family to do the same.

New focus areas in 2016

The evaluation identified some areas of improvement that helped inform planning for the 2016 campaign. These were:

  • increasing usability and availability of resources for stakeholder groups
  • deepening the understanding of rheumatic fever
  • strengthening of the antibiotic adherence message.

Who the campaign was talking to and why

The campaign aimed to create national awareness of rheumatic fever, the heart damage it can cause and the importance of having children’s sore throats checked at an early stage to prevent strep throat from leading to rheumatic fever. The campaign encouraged parents and caregivers to respond to their child’s sore throat by getting every sore throat checked by a doctor or nurse at free, community-based Sore Throat Clinics.

National incidence of rheumatic fever shows that Māori and Pacific children are most at risk. Consequently, the campaign targeted Māori and Pacific parents and caregivers of high-risk children and young people (aged 4 to 19 years) with a focus on regions where rheumatic fever incidence is highest.

Key messages and calls-to-action

Key messages and calls-to-action for the 2016 campaign are below.

  • A sore throat can lead to rheumatic fever if it’s left untreated. Rheumatic fever is very serious and can cause heart damage.
  • Every time your child has a sore throat it could be serious. Don’t ignore, take them to a doctor or nurse straight away to get it checked. Call Healthline on 0800 611 116 to find out more.
  • If your child is given antibiotics, it’s important they take them for the whole 10 days, even if they feel better, to stop the sore throat turning into rheumatic fever.
  • If your child has a sore throat, you can take them to one of the local sore throat clinics for a free check. It’s quick and easy.