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Rheumatic Heart Disease Closer to Home for Wainiqolo

Buli Wainiqolo’s advocacy message on Rheumatic Heart Disease-100% Preventable drives closer to home for her. Ms Wainiqolo, 18, is one of the 16 confirmed Queen contestants vying for the Vodafone
31 May 2017 13:27
Rheumatic Heart Disease Closer to Home for Wainiqolo

Buli Wainiqolo’s advocacy message on Rheumatic Heart Disease-100% Preventable drives closer to home for her.

Ms Wainiqolo, 18, is one of the 16 confirmed Queen contestants vying for the Vodafone Hibiscus Festival crown.

Proudly sponsored by Cure Kids Fiji, she was shocked when asked by the organisation to take part in this year’s festival.

Originally from Nakobo, Cakaudrove, in Vanua Levu, Ms Wainiqolo found out she had RHD when she was 11 years old (2010) when a screening team visited her school in Savusavu and she was diagnosed.

“I had no idea about the disease whatsoever from then on I’ve been taking monthly injections and this is where my message comes in,” she said.

She is appealing to the public and to RHD patients that they keep taking their medication, even if they felt well.

“As a young person with RHD, the Hibiscus festival is a platform to create awareness and if it’s about saving children’s lives then I’m willing to do take part,” she said.

One of her main challenges over the years was to encourage her RHD peers to keep taking the medication and not neglect it. Her treatment is going on to its seventh year.

Ms Wainiqolo thanks God for keeping her alive, her mother who has been her greatest supporter, grandparents, and her sponsors Cure Kids Fiji.

“I’m looking forward to fundraising as we build up to the festival that will support the organisation in research and implementation,” she said.

She’s currently a first year marine science student at the University of the South Pacific.

Edited by Naisa Koroi

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