Better liver health campaign evokes public action against hepatitis
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To highlight the prevalence of liver disease, which affects 1 in 4 everyday Queenslanders, HQ have published a free online self-assessment checklist that provides actionable steps for gaining control of better liver health.
HQ Chief Executive Dr Katelin Haynes said the campaign to improve the liver health of our state begins with small actions that make a big difference.
“Liver disease often appears symptomless and many people that live with hepatitis are unaware, uninformed and untreated. With this in mind, our checklist makes it easy for everyone to start prioritising your liver health today,” Dr Haynes said.
“We urge everyone to perform a few simple health checks to identify the early signs of poor liver health.”
Despite the pandemic reducing access to some health services Dr Haynes said the innovation witnessed in the public response to COVID-19 can inform better liver health service and program delivery.
“We were all faced with setbacks from the pandemic, but the past two years has showed us the power our community has to come together, adapt and tackle health issues.
“Previously the stigma surrounding hepatitis prevented Queenslanders from getting a liver check, but now we are seeing more people prioritising their health as the greater public learnt that viruses could affect anybody.
“The checklist has been prompted by World Hepatitis Day, but it is applicable year-round. Like any health-issue, the power to alleviate the affects lie with the individual and the first step you can take is to visit our website and access the self-assessment,” she said.
The Better Liver Health checklist is available at www.betterliverhealth.org.au and includes the steps:
- Eat a balanced diet
- Consume alcohol responsibly
- Exercise regularly
- Get tested for hepatitis via your GP
- Ask your GP for a liver health check
- Learn more about the liver
Dr Haynes said checking in with your GP is the most important step of the checklist, and reassured Queenslanders that it is a simple procedure.
“Your GP will help identify your risk factor, perform a liver scan as well as a blood test, and guide you on how to manage healthy liver function,” she said.
Dr Haynes said viral hepatitis can be eliminated with the highly effective and easily managed treatments that are available today.
“Hepatitis C treatments have changed dramatically in recent years. Our revolutionary drugs are highly effective with little to no side-effects and have cured 95 per cent of patients.
“Hepatitis A and B can be prevented through vaccination, or managed with regular monitoring for suitable treatments,” she said.
Visit the Hepatitis Queensland website www.betterliverhealth.org.au to access the free Better Liver Health checklist or call Hepatitis Queensland on 1800 437 222.