Multi-lingual online platform seeks to educate at-risk South Asian and Somali communities in the UK about hepatitis C.
Today marks the launch of ‘Hepatitis C: Find the Facts’, an online platform developed to inform an estimated 1.8 million South Asians and Somalis throughout the UK1 about the risks of this serious, yet curable disease, by providing simple, engaging and digestible information. The platform, endorsed by the British Liver Trust and Love Your Liver, aims to confront cultural challenges, misconceptions and the stigma attached to hepatitis C in these communities through tailored resources, which are now available for the first time in Hindu, Urdu, Nepali and Somali.
The online resources have been developed in partnership with hepatitis C oral swab test pioneer, Nurse Consultant, Dean Linzey from the Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust in Reading, and Safina Shahin, Blood-Borne Virus (BBV) Asian Head Champion and Administrator of local initiative to increase testing of hepatitis C for South Asians and Somalis in Reading.
Nurse Consultant, Dean Linzey commented: “The UK has one of the lowest hepatitis C diagnosis and treatment rates throughout the EU, and detection is particularly challenging in the South Asian population. Raising awareness within these communities, and testing and treating the disease early in is the best way to control the progression of the disease. The resources available on the ‘Hepatitis C: Find the Facts’ website is the first step in improving the management of hepatitis and preventing hepatitis C-related liver disease or liver cancer in this hard-to-reach patient population.”
Translated campaign videos and factsheets on the risks of transmission and appropriate treatment options, which are available on the platform, addresses commonly held myths about hepatitis C among the South Asian and Somali communities, where in some parts of the UK have a prevalence rate five times higher than the general population in the UK.2 These resources will aim to educate and empower these groups to make an informed decision to get tested if they have put themselves at risk, particularly when travelling or visiting family back at home.
Safina Shahin, BBV Asian Head Champion and Administrator commented: “We’ve made real progress to increase awareness of hepatitis C through our initiative in Reading. There are many Asians living in the UK who are getting infected when they travel back home and receive medical, dental or cosmetic treatments that use unsterile injections. Not only is there lack of knowledge, but there are also common misconceptions among this community as most Asians believe they have been vaccinated against hepatitis C. It is great to see that ‘Hepatitis C: Find the Facts’ addresses these issues and myths, while also overcoming the cultural barriers about hepatitis C.”
Monday 28 July 2014, Welwyn Garden Citycontinue reading