Queensland SWITCHes it up for World Hepatitis Day
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Every year, July 28 is recognised globally as World Hepatitis Day, bringing people together to increase awareness and facilitate prevention, diagnosis and treatment.
In 2022 Hepatitis Queensland provided community grants to assist organisations to engage with their local communities.
This page recaps the incredible activities our SWITCH grant recipients got up to and how they helped their community to look after their livers.
Princess Alexandra Hospital
The Hepatology OPD Burke Street team and Dietitians celebrated World Hepatitis Day on Wednesday the 28th of July with an information stall in the PAH main foyer. The theme this year was ‘Let’s Cut the Fat’ with our focus on Fatty Liver Disease and promoting health and education around prevention and treatment of the disease.
We designed 40 goodie bags with information brochures related to NAFLD (Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease) promoted a Mediterranean style diet to maintain a healthy weight range including all the ingredients to make a Mediterranean vegetarian bolognese, promoted exercise with a home exercise program and a TheraBand to assist. If anyone wants more information, brochures or an in service please contact us in Hepatology we would be more than happy to provide education. Thank you to Hepatitis Queensland for the grant and to Cobram Estate and Australian Almonds for the kind donations.
ATODS Mossman Hospital
The theme of our campaign was “Better Living Better Liver Health” and our aim was to generate more awareness of liver disease and promote the importance of health checks and screening and to build community knowledge.
We hosted a community BBQ in the hospital grounds and engaged the help of our colleagues from Cairns Sexual Health who provided point of care hepatitis C screening at the event. 24 tests were done on the day and there was lots of education provided to service providers, community members and hospital staff about the transmission of hepatitis C and the new cures. The event was well received and there was lots of interest in further education.
Bayside Addiction and Mental Health Services
Throughout July, Metro South Health’s Needle and Syringe Programs promoted Better Liver health as part of World Hepatitis Day – 28 July.
The month-long focus culminated in a community event at the Bayside Community Mental Health Centre, where the Bayside Addiction and Mental Health Service were joined by QuIHN and Hepatitis Queensland to provide hepatitis testing plus flu and Covid vaccinations, and educate people about liver health and hepatitis as part of World Hepatitis Day, 28 July 2022. The event was a success with 30 vaccinations administered and 2 hepatitis tests processed.
Northern Peninsular Area Community Health Centres
Northern Peninsular Area (NPA) Community Health Centres participated in World Hepatitis Day 2022 which involved the communities of Injinoo, Umagico, Bamaga, New Mapoon and Seisia. To promote the event posters were attached to display boards around the communities.
Queensland Health workers alongside NPAWS health workers and student doctors encouraged clients to participate in hepatitis awareness by completing a quiz using resources on display. Clients needing assistance were supported with brief education session about hepatitis by health workers. Participants were offered health checks, STI & BBV screening appointments.
A BBQ marquee set up on the main street in Bamaga offered hot dogs, fresh fruit salad and yoghurt. Once people engaged with the promotion and education, they went on to answer the trivia questions and were given a ticket into the draw to win prizes. Participants were then directed to the free barbeque.
On average 60 people in the NPA community participated in the event and it was a great start to raising awareness of hepatitis in a safe and non threatening environment. Many more will get to read the posters as they remain on display boards for the next few months.
Jimboomba Medical Centre
We had a great day and everyone wore the T-shirts and enjoyed the food that we purchased with the gift card. Thank you Hepatitis Queensland for letting us be involved in promoting the day.
QuIHN Sunshine Coast
Thanks to a grant from Hepatitis Queensland, QuIHN Sunshine Coast rolled out a BBQ for World Hepatitis Day 2022 offering beef burgers, veggie burgers, fresh fruit and soft drinks for attendees. All attendees were given a ‘gift bag’ containing leaflets and information on hepatitis and liver health, mindfulness colouring book, water bottle and herbal tea. QuIHN’s Harm Reduction workers and Nurse Practitioner were on hand to answer any client queries regarding hepatitis and four people took up the offer of a Hep C Point of Care Test. Thanks to Hepatitis Queensland for helping to raise awareness of hepatitis prevention and treatment.
Sunshine Coast University Hospital-Hepatology Partnership
‘Healthy liver, healthy life’ is the Sunshine Coast message.
The liver is the barometer of how the rest of the body is functioning to prevent other diseases. Our displays, screen savers, car park billboards and discussions were to remind us to care for ourselves.
Each cure of hepatitis C is a freedom from stigma and contributing to elimination of hepatitis C by 2030. Managing and monitoring hepatitis B means less liver cancer in the world.
130 people learnt health effects of their alcohol use, activity levels and working towards a healthy weight. One person won a healthy self-care package.
We all know what to do-just do it.
Palm Island Primary Health Care Clinic
The Aboriginal health workers team had a World Hep Day in the mall where we have a lot of community members sitting during the day. We also held a community BBQ where we asked the community in a yarning circle what is hepatitis to them and how much do they know about the blood-borne virus. We need more of the yarning circles about hepatitis and any other chronic diseases we have among our people in community. We also had Dr Alex who came down and spent time answering any questions the people in community had asked. I think having World Hep Day is a really good opportunity to get the education out in community and have community knowing what to look for if they may contracted it. This is also good for our health workers to help educate about the importance of having health check 715 to find out if they have a blood-borne virus. Knowing our people have that stigma about being shame and shame to go see a doctor and getting the treatment they need. We would love to keep going having World Hep Day every year as a community so we are educating our people, I’m hoping in the future World Hep Day will get bigger and better.
On 29th July 2022, Ipswich Alcohol and Other Drug Services (AODS) celebrated World Hepatitis Day. This involved Ipswich AODS staff providing free point-of-care hepatitis C testing and treatment in under 1 hour for people who inject drugs or who are “just curious”. We handed out gifts and incentives to engage the community in health screening and treatment. These included customised t-shirts, gym towels, and information brochures along with a welcoming smile provided free of charge.
We were extremely pleased with our events and the clients including staff we were able to talk too. It was surprising how many people didn’t realise they may be at risk of having or contracting hepatitis. We believe by having the informal chats we did with clients we were able to better educate them.
All the materials Hepatitis Queensland provided including the digital prints, stickers and facts all came in handy and made our job on the day very easy. The prizes we were able to provide clients kept them interested and was very informative for us as providers also.
Cairns Hepatitis Action Team and Youthlink NSP
Youthlink NSP collaborated with Cairns Sexual Health Service and the Cairns Hepatitis Action Team to run a series of Testing Tuesdays in July and August to increase access to hep C care and treatment.
- While Youthlink is a youth focussed service, the NSP serves all ages.
- Youthlink has a clinical nurses room that was used over the event days to test clients and offer Fibroscans where required. STI testing was also offered.
- Peers were engaged and funded through a complimentary program running with the services.
- Flyers were distributed to promote the days.
- The idea of ‘Testing Tuesdays’ was because it was a catchy title and easy to remember.
- We ran the event over several weeks so people had lots of opportunities to be engaged.
- We will use learnings from the events to plan further ways to engage clients with nurse-led testing and treatment.
On World Hepatitis Day, with a SWITCH Grant from Hepatitis Queensland, Kombi Clinic provided a liver health brunch event at Emmanuel City Mission (ECM), a homeless drop-in centre at South Brisbane.
ECM now stays open all Wednesday night. As clients were waking up on Thursday (World Hepatitis Day) we had organised a healthy brunch delivery. Our focus was Let’s Do This! Let’s have a ‘BLT’ as we discussed Better Liver Health with the clients.
We offered hepatitis C virus finger stick point-of-care testing (POCT) as we chatted about all things liver and lifestyle and had a face-to-face with 34 clients. We also supported the local business Ripe Cafe who provided a tasty brunch for 60 hungry clients.
Our World Hepatitis Day event went very well. We celebrated with a morning tea.
QuIHN Townsville decided to do something a little different for World Hepatitis Day this year by having an event just for our clients who are either currently on treatment, or have recently completed treatment, for hepatitis C.
We invited them for a healthy lunch to have a chat about healthy diets to support a healthy liver and play a game of ‘pin the organs on the body’. During this lunch the clients had a chance to chat to QuIHN peers who have personally been through the treatment process. To support the message of healthy eating, we provided clients with pre-cooked meals to take home.
What event wouldn’t be complete without a gift bag to take home. QuIHN staff made little liver keychains and liver shaped cookies to include with a gift bag of items from betterliverhealth.org.au and It’s Your Right.
Overall, it was a fun and enjoyable day.
QuIHN Gold Coast
The aim for this year’s World Hepatitis Day was to raise awareness of testing and treatment of viral hepatitis. To create a background, we designed a wall space with the theme ‘’Get Liver Smart’’. This space included a variety of educational handouts surrounding liver health, testing and treatment. The focus was to encourage people using the NSP to take part in an appointment with QuIHN’s Treatment and Management Program (TMP) or to visit their GP for more information.
A mandarin was offered to each client entering the Needle and Syringe Program as a way of opening conversation surrounding viral hepatitis. This conversation focused on providing information and education around the topic of testing and treatment. Often, with older clients, conversation was opened about the advancements in Hep C treatment in recent decades. Those who had accessed treatment in the past gave positive feedback about the limited side effects and ease of access of contemporary treatment. Information was given with a positive approach to reduce stigma and normalize conversation. To further support this we put fact sheets and contact details into NSP packs.
We look forward to taking part in World Hepatitis Day each year, it gives us an opportunity to check in with clients we may have missed previously on the topic of viral hepatitis. This includes encouraging testing, awareness of liver health and reducing the stigma related to transmission of viral hepatitis. This event always results in a great amount of engagement in our Treatment and Management Program for Hepatitis C. The Southport staff were pleased with this years organisation of the event.