SA Rheumatic Heart Disease (RHD) Register

Rheumatic heart disease develops after repeated bouts of acute rheumatic fever (ARF). ARF is an illness caused by a reaction to a bacterial infection with Group A Streptococcus, and mainly occurs during childhood and adolescence. RHD is very common in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

Prevention of RHD involves regular injections of long acting penicillin, every three to four weeks. This is known as secondary prophylaxis.

The SA Rheumatic Heart Disease (RHD) Register aims to improve the management of patients with ARF and RHD by assisting clinics with monitoring patient movements, identifying individuals with poor adherence to secondary prophylaxis and providing education and training. The following fact sheets and forms have been developed for the SA RHD Register. For more information about ARF and RHD, visit the following:

Notification of rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease

Rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease are notifiable diseases in South Australia under the South Australian Public Health Act 2011. These diseases must be notified to the Communicable Disease Control Branch within three days of suspecting or confirming a diagnosis on 1300 232 272 during business hours or using the standard notifiable conditions reporting form (PDF 77KB).

Notification of these diseases will help to improve the health of our community through public health action to reduce the burden of RHD in SA. Consent is no longer required to enrol people on the SA RHD Register.

Fact sheets

The SA Rheumatic heart disease (RHD) register fact sheet for patients and families (PDF 119KB) outlines what the register is for, how it can help patients, information that is collected and who the register is used by.

The SA Rheumatic heart disease (RHD) register fact sheet for health professionals (PDF 127KB) provides a background of the RHD register, how data is collected, who uses the register and how to get access to the register.

Register access application form

Access to the SA Register is only available to SA Health employees. Complete the register access application form (PDF 122KB) if you wish to have access to the SA RHD Register.

Further information

For further information on RHD register, contact the SA RHD Program on:

phone: (08) 7425 7146
fax: (08) 7425 6697
postal address: PO Box 6, Rundle Mall SA 5000