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About

Each year, more than 300,000 people die from rheumatic heart disease (RHD). The burden is greatest in the most productive years of life for those who can least afford it. The absolute burden of disease, the social effect, economic cost and the abject inequality of RHD demand urgent global action.

Almost exclusively, the people who die of RHD live in low- and middle-income countries or in vulnerable communities in high-income countries. Their deaths are preventable with medical knowledge and antibiotics which have existed for more than half a century. In high resource settings socioeconomic and medical determinants have functionally eradicated RHD. Yet preventing, diagnosing and treating RF and RHD remains a fitful struggle in low resource settings. Death and disability from RHD continues to extract an enormous social, economic and cultural toll on young adults and their communities.

Reach’s  mission  is  to promote  the  health  of  vulnerable  populations  through  technical  support  to  local,  regional  and  global  efforts  to  prevent  and  control  rheumatic  fever  and  rheumatic  heart  disease.

Reach provides technical support and policy translation to amplify rheumatic heart disease control efforts locally, regionally and globally. As an organisation we aim to identify, describe and disseminate solutions for this neglected disease and to reduce the burden on vulnerable populations around the world. As a collaborative organization, we partner with a broad range of stakeholders – including clinicians, other disease communities, academics, donors, governments, industry and people living with RHD – to achieve our common goals.

 

Reach Board

Professor Liesl Zhülke
Professor Liesl Zhülke
President
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Professor Kathryn Taubert
Professor Kathryn Taubert
Treasurer
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Jonathan Carapetis
Professor Jonathan Carapetis
Board Member
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Professor Ganesan Karthikeyan
Professor Ganesan Karthikeyan
Board Member
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Reach Team

Jeremiah Mwangi
Jeremiah Mwangi
Executive Director

Jeremiah has over 10 years’ experience working in global health. Prior to Reach he served as Director of Policy and Advocacy at the World Heart Federation (WHF). There he led WHF’s policy work on cardiovascular and rheumatic heart diseases including successfully spearheading a global campaign for a World Health Assembly Resolution on rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart diseases.

At the WHF, Jeremiah was responsible for managing relationships with the WHO and key public and private…

Dr Sophie La Vincente
Dr Sophie La Vincente
Deputy Executive Director, Head of Country Programmes

Sophie is an epidemiologist with over 15 years’ experience in public health, operational research and programming in low- and middle-income countries.

Sophie brings extensive experience working with governments and development partners on public health program implementation and evaluation, and provision of technical support.

Prior to joining Reach, Sophie worked with the Murdoch Children's Research Institute and the University of Melbourne’s Centre for International Child…

Dr Rosemary Wyber
Dr Rosemary Wyber
Senior Technical Advisor

Dr Rosemary Wyber completed her medical degree in New Zealand, her Masters of Public Health at the Harvard School of Public Health and her General Practice training in Aboriginal Community Controlled Clinics in the Northern Territory of Australia. Previously Deputy Director of Reach she is the lead author of the first two editions of ‘Tools for Implementing RHD Control Programs’ (TIPs).
Rosemary is Head of Strategy for END RHD and is overseeing work to develop an Endgame for RHD in…

Dr David Watkins
Dr David Watkins
Scientific Advisor

Dr David Watkins completed his undergraduate studies in science before completing his MD at Duke University and his residency in Internal Medicine at the University of Washington. David holds an international appointment as a research associate at the University of Cape Town. He recently completed his Masters of Public Health in Global Health focusing on health metrics and evaluation through the University of Washington.

Susan Perkins
Susan Perkins
Program Manager | Cape Town

Susan Perkins is a member of the Reach team based in Cape Town. Susan earned her Master’s Degree in Community Health Management from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA (USA) and has many years of experience supporting research and programmatic endeavours in academic medicine.

Susan served as a US Peace Corps Community Health Volunteer from 2012 to 2014 in Limpopo, South Africa where she became involved with the Rheumatic Heart Disease Global Registry (REMEDY) project. It was then…

Timothy Johnson
Timothy Johnson
Communications Coordinator | Perth

Timothy Johnson has undergraduate qualifications in International Development from La Trobe University in Melbourne. He is currently completing postgraduate studies in Public Health.

Timothy has extensive work and volunteer experience in the community, refugee and not for profit sector. He first became involved in rheumatic heart disease in 2014 as a Project Officer with a focus on the disease in the Australian domestic context at Telethon Kids Institute at the University of Western…

Lisa Telford
Lisa Telford
Project Officer

Lisa Telford is a Cape Town based member of the Reach team. She has a background in the social sciences and has recently completed a Master of Public Health degree specialising in Epidemiology at the University of Cape Town.
 
Lisa first became involved in Rheumatic Heart Disease research after joining the Children’s Heart Disease Research Unit as a part-time research assistant and NRF intern in February 2017. Prior to her involvement in RHD, Lisa had previously worked on a…

Liz Kennedy
Liz Kennedy
Senior Technical Advisor

Liz has over 18 years of experience managing and advising public health programmes and extensive international field experience in development and advocacy, operational research and evaluation. Liz has worked with a range of international and local government organisations in Asia and Africa and since 2011 has managed RHD prevention and control programs in the Pacific region.
 
Her professional contributions extend across a range of development sectors including maternal and…

Community Advisory Network

Elizabeth Machila
Elizabeth Machila
Community Advisory Network
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Januario Dos Santos Da Silva “Anary”
Januario Dos Santos Da Silva “Anary”
Community Advisory Network
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Samuel Phiri
Samuel Phiri
Community Advisory Network
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