Hepatitis B and hepatitis C affect 325 million people globally. While Australia has made significant advances in the response to hepatitis B in recent years, the illness remains a serious public health challenge. According to the latest Hepatitis B Mapping Project National Report, 61% of people living with chronic hepatitis B (CHB) were born overseas.

The proportion of people living with Chronic Hepatitis B in Australia by country of birth is 17.8% from China and 9.7 % from Vietnam. If left untreated, hepatitis B and C can lead to liver damage and liver cancer.

On Wednesday and Thursday last week CEH’s Multicultural Health and Support Services (MHSS) delivered training sessions for the peer educators. The main aim of the session is to help build knowledge about Hepatitis B and C prevention and treatment.

The Session focused on:

• What is Hepatitis B and C?

• Symptoms of Hepatitis B and C

• How do you get Hepatitis B and C?

• Stigma and discrimination associated with Hepatitis B and C.

• Testing and Treatment of Hepatitis B and C.

This was then followed by “Picture Card Activity” which focused on the different aspects of transmission of both Hepatitis B and C.

Some of the interesting questions that came up during the session were in relation to the cost associated with the hepatitis C treatment and whether Medicare covers the cost, whether Hep C test is compulsory for pregnant women and if there is a cure for Hepatitis C, why are people living with the disease for 20 or more years.

The sessions were rated excellent by everyone.

The peer educators are now ready to present two sessions to the community in Mandarin. These sessions will be held on;

– Saturday November 27

– Saturday December 4

For more information on the sessions download the flyer here.