cohealth Collingwood has opened a new service to help people diagnose and manage hepatitis, a virus that remains hidden in Melbourne’s inner city community and is closely
associated with liver cancer.
As part of Hepatitis Week, cohealth has partnered with Hepatitis Victoria to offer quick and easy liver check ups, and provide information and counselling on hepatitis B.
cohealth Chief Executive Lyn Morgain said it was estimated that Collingwood has the 8th highest prevalence of hepatitis B in Australia.
“cohealth is committed to prioritising health issues – such as hepatitis B – that are important to the community; and building partnerships with other organisations and individuals to make it
happen”, Ms Morgain said.“Hepatitis B is a significant public health issue worldwide, affecting over 400 million people, but it’s also an issue right here in Melbourne’s inner north, and we want to help people to
identify and manage this virus”, Ms Morgain said.
In Australia an estimated 218,000 people have the virus, however almost half remainundiagnosed.
Ms Morgain said the theme of this year’s World Hepatitis Day is Time For Action – Test, Check,Treat.“This service will make that very easy for people to do, and then to receive proper advice about how best to manage their health”, Ms Morgain said.
“Knowing and then getting appropriate treatment from a welcoming health service is the best way people can avoid potential liver cancer down the track.”
“People can simply book a liver health check up at reception, or speak to their GP/health worker.”
The nurse-led hepatitis B service will operate two days per week commencing Wednesday 5 August and be run by a Clinical Nurse Consultant from Melbourne Health and in partnership with Hepatitis Victoria.
Hepatitis Victoria are also working with cohealth to mobilise the west of Melbourne to prioritise hepatitis B. This will strengthen cohealth’s ability to respond to people who have or are concerned about either hepatitis B or C across sites in Melbourne’s inner north and western suburbs.
 Australasian Society for HIV Medicine (ASHM) and Melbourne Health. Hepatitis B Mapping Project: Estimates of chronic hepatitis B diagnosis, monitoring and treatment by Medicare Local, 2012/13 – National Report.