Rheumatic Heart Disease

Rheumatic heart disease (RHD) represents an interesting intersection of NCDs, infectious disease, and child health. Although rheumatic fever and RHD are chronic and non-communicable conditions, they are a consequence of untreated infection by Strep-A bacteria, which usually occurs in childhood (ages 5-13). One ongoing challenge in treating RHD is raising awareness among teachers, parents, and clinicians to make the connection of how a seemingly commonplace upper-respiratory tract infection like Strep-A can later lead to a chronic heart condition requiring surgery.

To meet this challenge, in addition to traditional education approaches (training sessions) and mobile-health approaches (SMS outreach to parents), Bienmoyo worked with Danielle Williams at Umoja Arts Centre in Arusha to compose a simple and memorable song for school children to learn. The song was then taught in primary schools as well as broadcast over national radio.

We invite you to watch our video above (or listen to the song by itself). You can also load the HD version of the video here

Strep-A and RHD Awareness Song

A: I'm having sore throat
Ninaumwa homa na koo
B: Aaaahh, look at your heart
Aaahh, angalia moyo wako
A: I've got pain when swallowing
Napata maumivu nikimeza
B: Aaahh, think of your heart
Aaahh, fikiria moyo wako
A: I've got joint swelling and fever
Nimevimba viungo, nina homa
B: Aaahh, examine your heart
Aaahh, chunguza moyo wako
A + B: Now that I know all this ...
Sasa najua, sasa najua
sasa najua haya yote
A + B: I will have a strong heart
Sasa najua, na nitakuwa
na moyo wenye nguvu

Credits: Words developed by Professor Peter Mhando of Kam-medconsult, Arusha, Tanzania. Song composed by and © Danielle Williams.

Non-communicable Diseases

Bienmoyo recognizes that assessing the burden of illness associated with infectious as well as chronic diseases is critical to delivering targeted services to ensure the well being of persons seeking medical attention. An understanding of burden of illness within a population helps partners allocate scare resources and develop programs to maximize impact on wellness and quality of life for clients.

  • While many treatment programs and wellness impact assessments for conditions caused by infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS, TB, and Malaria exist, Bienmoyo specializes in the design of wellness management programs and impact assessments on less well understood and examined chronic conditions in resource poor settings such as diabetes, cancer, rheumatic heart disease, and ESRD.
Dr. Rainer and Dr. Mwita in Lindia, Tanzania, prepare for cardiovascular screening

Dr. Rainer and Dr. Mwita in Lindi, Tanzania, prepare APHFTA bicycle transport for essential medicines and laboratory specimens for cardiovascular screening