More than 500 people attended a recent Hills community event with the purpose of demystifying hepatitis B.
90 per cent of hepatitis B transmissions occur at birth from mother to baby. The disease is easily prevented by vaccination, but if left untreated can lead to serious liver disease and liver cancer.
The majority of Australians living with chronic hepatitis B were born overseas, including 18% born in China and 38% born in the Asia and Pacific regions.
Western Sydney is a priority area for diagnosing and treating chronic hepatitis B, with the country’s second highest rate of liver cancer after western Melbourne.
Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD) health promotion officer Anju Devkota said the family health fun day at Baulkham Hills Chinese Language School was very successful in reaching priority population groups.
“More than 500 people attended the event and the majority were middle-aged parents, seniors and community leaders from the Hills Chinese Association,” Anju said.
“Twenty-one people had their liver scanned on the day, and nearly 150 people completed a quiz on their knowledge and awareness of hepatitis B. So the event was definitely engaging and empowering people to get educated, and seek hepatitis B testing and medical advice.”
The event was an initiative of the Jade Fan Project, a partnership between WSLHD and Hepatitis NSW with the aim of addressing hepatitis B among the Asian community of western Sydney.
For more information about hepatitis B awareness, prevention and treatment, contact Anju on 9843 3170 or at Anju.Devkota@health.nsw.gov.au.