Hepatitis B community education projects are rolling out around Australia with four in full swing in South Australia.
First off the rank in SA was a project with the Filipino community which Hepatitis SA is carrying out in partnership with the Filipino Settlement Coordinating Council of South Australia (FSCCSA).
The project had a flying start with fun and games at the Filipino Fiesta in October, followed by an information session with the Filipino Aged Care group in December and community information sessions this month in Port Lincoln and Murray Bridge.
Work with the Chinese and Vietnamese communities are not far behind with project officers appointed from the respective communities.
The Chinese community education project partners include the Chinese Association of South Australia, the Overseas Chinese Association of SA, the Chinese Welfare Services of SA and the CASA Chinese Ethnic School.
With the support of liver nurses from the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Hepatitis SA carried out three very successful fibroscan days for members of two Chinese associations and a local church community. Participants discussed issues relating to transmission, access to vaccination and health maintenance. Hepatitis B information sessions have also been planned for members of various Chinese activity groups.
The Vietnamese community education project is supported by Hepatitis SA’s old friend and partner from the Vietnamese community: Community Access and Services SA (CASSA). With CASSA’s support numerous information sessions have been held with members of the Vietnamese community.
A number of resources have been developed or sourced to support these projects. They included a pamphlet on hepatitis B for Vietnamese and Chinese mothers-to-be and an illustrated Chinese booklet on the basics of hepatitis B.
Discussions and planning have started on providing information and support to Chinese pregnant women diagnosed with hepatitis B. An audio recording to provide easy-to-understand information on hepatitis B vaccination for newborns is being produced.
Efforts are being made to promote the projects via social and traditional media.
A project with the African community, in partnership with the African Women’s Federation of SA and PEACE Multicultural Services will begin in the coming months.
The South Australian projects are but a small selection of the 40 projects progressively being implemented Australia-wide. The projects are wide-ranging in approaches including digital story-telling, art activities, resource development, service pathways identification and promotion of treatment and vaccination.
Communities involved in the projects include Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, African communities in particular Sub-Saharan Africans, South East Asians, Chinese, Koreans, Sudanese and other cultural groups.
For more information about the hepatitis B community education projects, visit bit.ly/2jcZ7BX.
Updated from a piece originally published in Hepatitis SA Community News #72