Christmas at Tivua Island for Children Living with RHD

Children living with RHD enjoy a day out. Photo credit: Takara Photography

Children living with RHD enjoy a day out thanks to VOMO Island Fiji and Captain Cook Cruises Fiji. Photo credit: Takara Photography


11 December 2020 – Thirty children and adolescents living with Rheumatic Heart Disease (RHD) enjoyed a day in the Mamanuca Islands last Friday, at the annual ‘Christmas Day Out’ event hosted by VOMO Island & Captain Cook Cruises.

Rheumatic heart disease (RHD) is a serious heart condition that affects 1 in 50 children in Fiji, one of the highest known rates in the world and a leading cause of death for our young people. In Fiji, at least 60 deaths a year are attributed to RHD.

In 2014, Cure Kids Fiji began an ongoing partnership with the Ministry of Health and Medical Services to prevent and control RHD in Fiji through early detection, clinical care, and support and counselling to diagnosed children & their families.

“We thank VOMO Island Fiji & Captain Cook Cruises Fiji for their generosity,” says Cure Kids Fiji General Manager Tara Satyanand. “These children were able to meet others living with RHD, as well as some of the people who make our programme possible.”

The children were treated to a range of activities on the island including a BBQ lunch, volleyball matches against staff and crew, and hours of fun in the ocean.

Despite the challenging economic times VOMO Island Fiji was also able to make a donation of FJ$4,500 on the day, which will further the reach of the programme.

“Many young people living with RHD express feelings of isolation and anxiety but bringing the children together like this allows them to develop peer-to-peer networks for support and encouragement,” says Jennifer Miller, Cure Kids Fiji. “We are grateful to be able to continue this event- particularly in such a stressful year. Without the support of VOMO Island Fiji & Captain Cook Cruises Fiji it would not have been possible.”