World Hepatitis Day – a few things to think about during morning tea…

In the ten minutes it took you to brew your morning cuppa and dunk your favourite bikkie, 25 people died. They were killed by viral hepatitis – part of the 152 people around the world, who die every hour from this treatable, preventable disease.

Locally, about 24 Australians die each week from hepatitis B or hepatitis C. Not as shocking as 25 in 10 minutes but that’s still 1,237 needless Australian deaths each year.

World Hepatitis Day (28 July) is a reminder that Australians cannot afford to rest on our laurels. Although 14 per cent of Australians with hepatitis C have been cured, there are still many, many who need to receive treatment.

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Eat Well to Feel Well – Convenience Food or Convenient Food?

If you have viral hepatitis eating well can make a real difference to your quality of life but consistently eating fresh, healthy food most of the time can be a lot of effort. Most of us struggle to meet the Australian Dietary Guidelines  by eating plenty of fruits and vegetables and limiting the amount of convenience foods in our diet. However, with a little thought, planning and effort you can make cooking more convenient and eating the way you want to a lot more achievable.

Although cooking is often presented as a pleasurable activity that we all enjoy and naturally know how to do this isn’t the case for many people. At the end of a long day cooking can be a real chore. Surprisingly, recognising this can be the key to eating better more often.

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Many ways for South Australians to get hepatitis information

South Australians are now getting viral hepatitis information in more ways than ever before.

In 2015-16 Hepatitis SA received orders from individuals for over 14,100 items of printed information; its website had over 29,380 page views.

In 2005, the organisation’s online presence was one small static website and information was disseminated mainly in printed form. Today Hepatitis SA has a two Twitter accounts, three Facebook pages, an online hepatitis C self-assessment tool, a WeChat account, and an AdelaideBBS account, all backed up by a dynamic website with regularly updated articles. This is an indication of the way health information provision has changed in the last decade.

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Need for Hepatitis Support Continues

The need for support and information about hepatitis C brought together a small band of people in Adelaide some 20 years ago. That small group from the 90s grew to become today’s Hepatitis SA.

Providing support to people dealing with chronic hepatitis remains at the heart Hepatitis SA’s services. The close mutual support of the early days has developed into formal, on-going support groups, telephone support and face to face information sessions.

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Retirement for Hep B Bear?

The stages of chronic hepatitis B infection has been given a makeover. Is it time for Hep B Bear to move aside?

The latest clinical practice guidelines for hepatitis B published by the European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL) not only set out recommended treatment protocols but also re-framed and re-named the phases of chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection.

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Jewel of South Australian Viral Hepatitis Services

Kim had just started on the new hepatitis C treatment and things seemed to be going well until he realised he was unable to get his new supply of tablets because he forgot to give his local pharmacist sufficient notice.

His script could not be filled by the time he needed it. This break, early in his treatment, could affect the outcome. In desperation, he told his viral hepatitis nurse of his predicament. The nurses organised a supply and dropped it off to him on a weekend.

The nurses say this is something they can’t do on a regular basis, but it is one example of how this team of dedicated South Australian nurses go out of their way to support the people they are caring for, to ensure the best outcomes.

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