42 people have died of Rheumatic Fever and Rheumatic Heart Disease from 1st August 2016 to 31st July this year.
This was confirmed by the Fiji Rheumatic Heart Disease Prevention and Control Program and the Fiji Islands Oxygen Program.
Public Health Advisor Doctor Sainimere Boladuadua says 26 were female and 16 were male.
Dr Boladuadua says there were a total of 141 new cases of Rheumatic Fever and Rheumatic Heart Disease for the past year.
She says they know that they are under‑reporting because there is bound to be cases that are either undiagnosed or unreported.
Dr Boladuadua says that in Fiji, there's approximately 60 deaths a year from Rheumatic Heart Disease.
She says these deaths are mostly young people from teen years to 40 years.
Dr Boladuadua says this has caused deaths in children who have their whole lives ahead of them and young people who are at the prime of their lives are dying at a time when they are most productive.
She says people are not born with this disease, and it is something that they develop, so it is entirely preventable.
Dr Boladuadua says it is quite complex as the disease process from an infective sore throat or skin sores to rheumatic fever and then to rheumatic heart disease.ADVERTISEMENT Listen to the latest news on our 5 radio stations Legend FM, Viti FM, Radio Sargam, FM96 and Navtarang.