Credit:

Credit: lamotte.com.au

According to Brenda Green, researcher from the Menzies School of Health in Darwin, a startling high rate of Indigenous Australians die young due to rheumatic heart disease.

As a researcher for Northern Territory, she estimates the disease affects 3 per cent of Aboriginal people, however the official figure could be higher due to studies that have just started in recent years.

The lethal disease is easily prevented through offering treatments to children that are exposed to the rheumatic fever, she said but because of poverty and overcrowded living quarters that are located in hard-to-reach areas, the issue continually exists.

Penicillin, can prevent the development of rheumatoid fever in children, said Brenda Green.

She said, If these were non-indigenous children, I think there would be a larger outcry.

I think there is some complacency because they are Aboriginal children.

Heart problems associated with rheumatoid fever, according to the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics were the cause of a quarter of deaths among Aboriginese in 2008.