Culturally sensitive strategies designed to target the silent epidemic of hepatitis B in a Filipino community.

Hawai'i Pacific University, Honolulu, HI 96813, USA.
Hawaii medical journal 07/2007; 66(6):154-6.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Hepatitis B is frequent in the Philippines. A high rate of immigration to the United States has brought many Filipinos with infections who are asymptomatic yet will go on to develop liver cancer and cirrhosis unless diagnose and evaluated. Interventions are necessary to educate this ethnic community, identify those infected, and offer therapy. In an effort to reach this high risk population in Hawai'i an intervention program was designed to address the silent epidemic of hepatitis. Ethnic barriers were crossed through involvement of trusted, key stakeholders and individuals within the Filipino health care and church communities, along with groups that had joint missions to address viral hepatitis. After extensive planning and meetings with faith-based organizations and health care providers in the Filipino community, it was decided to hold a community health fair in the Filipino community to provide culturally appropriate health information and services. More than 500 individuals attended the health fair; 167 participated in a survey and were tested for hepatitis B. Significant knowledge gaps were found in relation to risk factors, prevention strategies, and transmission. Five individuals tested positive; all were immigrants and did not know of their disease. The objective to educate people and test them for hepatitis was successful through utilizing ethnic community leaders, religious organizations, health care professionals, and a collaborative health fair.

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