Final Rheumatic Fever Awareness Campaign

Final 2017 Rheumatic Fever Awareness Campaign 

The main objective of the final national campaign remains the same as the previous campaigns - to promote awareness of preventative messages focussing on sore throats. The campaign rolls out in three phases: an early Auckland focus, national awareness promotion and the transition.

New Auckland Focus in 2017 

The campaign launched on regional media channels in Auckland on 13 February and will run until the end of April. The goal of this first stage of the campaign is to get Rheumatic Fever messages into the heart of identified Auckland communities. 

The strategic approach utilises:

  • Samoan, Tongan and Māori influencers talking directly to their own communities to ensure existing key messages are relevant, culturally appropriate, and in the voice and language of the target audiences.
  • hyper-local advertising through a variety of channels; outdoor (mobile billboards, bus backs, In-Community posters and digital screens), Pacific and iwi radio stations and social media targeted to 23 hotspot suburbs with high rheumatic fever rates across the three Auckland DHB catchment areas (Auckland, Waitematā, and Counties Mānuka).

National Awareness Campaign - May to July

The campaign will be extended to eight other regions with a high incidence of Rheumatic Fever from May until the end of July. A combination of TV, outdoor advertising, radio and online promotion (Search, YouTube and Facebook) will be used.

Areas of focus are DHB catchment areas in:

  • Wider Auckland (Waitematā, Auckland, Counties-Manukau)
  • Northland
  • Waikato
  • Bay of Plenty
  • Tairāwhiti 
  • Hawke’s Bay
  • Lakes (Rotorua, Taupo, Tūrangi)
  • Wider Wellington (Capital and Coast, and Hutt Vallley)

Transition of Rheumatic Fever Awareness-raising Activity to DHBs - July 

From 31 July, national rheumatic fever awareness campaigns end and responsibility for awareness-raising activity shifts to DHBs. The final campaign phase will therefore help shape a strategy and process to support the smooth transition of resources, media relationships and lessons learned from these campaigns to DHBs. 

Campaign resources in 2017

Check out new resources here

Language-specific resources (Samoan, Tongan and Te Reo) - new translations are available from the 2016 suite of resources.

2011 - 2016 campaign resources - still available for download. To view, choose the campaign year from the drop down menu.

Insights that informed the 2017 campaign

  • RF has no seasonal effect in Auckland
  • Though awareness of rheumatic fever is high among the target audiences, in the Auckland region there is a gap between audiences knowing about rheumatic fever, and parents and caregivers taking their children with sore throats to the free sore throat clinics
  • The right ‘messenger’ is as important as the right ‘message’ in effectively reaching the identified Pacific target audience.
  • Family history – proportionately more new rheumatic fever cases have a family member with rheumatic fever. In the Auckland DHB catchment this has increased to 60% in the last year.

Who the campaign was talking to and why

The campaign aims 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 encourages 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 2017 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.