Free sore throat checks for children most at risk of getting rheumatic fever available at a number of local pharmacies and medical centres.
What is rheumatic fever?
Rheumatic fever is a serious but preventable illness. It mainly affects Māori and Pacific children and young people (aged 4 and above), especially if they have other family members who have had rheumatic fever.
Rheumatic fever starts with a sore throat that is known as ‘strep throat’ – a throat infection caused by a bacteria called Group A Streptococcus.
Most sore throats get better on their own, but if strep throat is not treated with antibiotics it can develop into rheumatic fever where the heart, joints, brain and skin become inflamed and swollen.
Because rheumatic fever is such a serious illness, all sore throats in Māori and Pacific children and young people (aged 4 and above) need to be checked.
Free sore throat clinics
Free sore throat clinics are available to people at high risk of developing rheumatic fever who live in Hutt Valley, Wellington or Porirua.
Free sore throat checks, are available to:
- Māori and Pacific children and young adults, aged 4 to 19 years-old and are enrolled in a general practice in Hutt Valley, Wellington or Porirua
- Anyone aged 4 to 19 years-old with a family history of rheumatic fever
- Anyone living in crowded circumstances
Your child's school may also offer a free sore throat clinic - check with your school.
Otherwise you can go to your family doctor or nurse to get a sore throat checked but you may have to pay a fee. Call your family doctor to check if you are eligible for a free throat check.
What does the service provide?
A nurse or pharmacist will check your child’s sore throat, take their temperature and note other symptoms like a cough or runny nose.
Your child will be offered antibiotic treatment if their symptoms indicate a strep throat infection rather than a cold. Children/young adults with a sore throat caused by a cold usually have a cough, hoarseness, red eyes, and runny nose (usually not seen with strep throat). For this reason these patients will not be offered antibiotic treatment.
Pharmacies and medical centres offering free sore throat checks are listed below.
Hutt Valley pharmacies - Free sore throat clinics
20-21 Queen St, Wainuiomata
|Life Pharmacy Queensgate|
Queensgate Mall, Lower Hutt
Sat 9am-6pm Sun 10am-5.30pm
139 Randwick Road, Moera
29 Hillary Court, Naenae
1206 High Street, Taita
|Unichem Maidstone Pharmacy|
53 Main Street, Upper Hutt
|Unichem Owles Pharmacy|
45 Everest Avenue, Naenae
|Unichem Petone Pharmacy|
240 Jackson Street, Petone
|Unichem Upper Hutt Pharmacy|
723 Fergusson Drive, Upper Hutt
8 The Strand, Wainuiomata
Mon-Tues, Thurs-Fri 8.30am-5.30pm
Sat 9am-4pm Sun 10am-4pm
1 Trafalgar Square, Waterloo
66 Whites Line East, Waiwhetu
Hutt Valley medical centres - Free sore throat clinics
|After Hours Medical Centre||729 High Street, Lower Hutt||Mon-Fri 6pm-11pm |
|High Street Health Hub||577 High Street, Lower Hutt||Mon-Fri 8am-6pm|
|Hutt City Health Centre||5 Raroa Road, Lower Hutt||Mon-Thu 8am-7pm |
|Hutt City Wainuiomata||5 Fitzherbert Road, Wainuiomata||Mon-Fri 8am-5.30pm |
|Hutt Union Community Health Services Pomare Petone Taita||51 Farmer Crescent, Pomare|
451 Jackson Street, Petone
1205 High Street, Taita
|Mon-Fri 9am-5pm |
|Naenae Medical Centre||39 Treadwell Street, Naenae||Mon-Fri 8.30am-5pm |
|Stokes Valley Medical Centre||180 Stokes Valley Road, Stokes Valley||Mon-Fri 9am-5.30pm |
|Whai Oranga Health Centre||7 The Strand, Wainuiomata||Mon-Fri 8.30am-5pm |
Porirua and Wellington medical centres - Free sore throat clinics
|Cannons Creek Medical Centre||178 Bedford Street, Cannons Creek ||Mon-Fri 8.30am-5pm|
|Mungavin Medical Centre||7 Mungavin Ave, Porirua East||Mon-Fri 8.30am-5pm|
|Takapuwahia Medical Centres ||1 Te Hiko Street, Takapūwāhia||Mon-Fri 8.30am-5pm|
|Waitangirua practice||Co-located with Cannons Creek: 178 Bedford Street, Cannons Creek||Mon-Fri 8.30am-5pm|
|Titahi Bay Doctors||3 Whitehouse Rd, Titahi Bay||Mon-Fri 8.30am-5pm |
|Titahi Bay Surgery||76 Main Road, Titahi Bay||Mon-Fri 8.30am-5pm|
|Whitby Doctors||Whitby Mall, Discovery Drive||Mon, Wed-Fri 8.30am-5.30pm|
|Linden Surgery||49 Hinau Street, Linden||Mon-Tues, Thu-Fri 8.30am-5.30pm|
|Mana Medical Centre||107 The Esplanade, Paremata||Mon-Thu 8am-6pm|
|Pacific Health Plus ||4 Bedford Court, Cannons Creek||Mon-Fri 9am-5.30-pm|
|Plimmerton Medical Centre||10 Steyne Avenue, Plimmerton||Mon-Fri 8.30am-5pm|
|Tawa Medical Centre||17 Rewa Terrace, Tawa||Mon-Fri 8am-5pm|
|Porirua Union Community Health Service (PUCHS)||221 Bedford Street, Cannons Creek||Mon-Tue, Thu-Fri 8.30am-6pm|
Well Homes is designed to support whānau to live in a warm, dry and safe home.
Well Homes links whānau to services such as insulation, heating, curtains, beds, bedding, carpets, rugs, financial assistance and social housing providers. Well Homes supports whānau who hold a community services card and have a child or children who have a respiratory condition. To find out if your family is eligible for support visit the Well Homes page on this website:
Regional Public Health | Well Homes
Further information on sore throats and rheumatic fever is available by visiting the following websites:
Ministry of Health | Rheumatic Fever