Hepatitis Can’t Wait – new way to reach Chinese communities at risk of hepatitis B

Jul 28, 2021 | BWC news, Client news, Ethnic communications, Our Insights

Supported by Bananaworks Communications, a new WeChat channel is set to help the Hepatitis Foundation of New Zealand (HFNZ) better reach one of its target communities.

28 July is World Hepatitis Day (WHD). ‘Hepatitis Can’t Wait’ is the new campaign theme to launch WHD 2021. With a person dying every 30 seconds from a hepatitis-related illness – even in the current COVID-19 crisis – it’s crucial to act on viral hepatitis.

New Zealand’s Chinese communities are among the highest risk groups for liver diseases such as hepatitis B. With that in mind, and with 98.7 percent of Chinese people in NZ using WeChat, HFNZ CEO Susan Hay says it makes sense for the organisation to be embracing it.

“New Zealand is one of the many countries supporting the World Health Organisation’s goal to eliminate global hepatitis by 2030. To work toward this, our team is striving to increase diagnosis and treatment for the at-risk groups, including Chinese. Auckland Liver Unit research has shown patients receiving annual follow-up from the foundation have better health outcomes, with early detection of advanced disease, than those who are not,” Susan says.

Chinese immigrants are at risk of contracting hepatitis B because, while a vaccination programme was introduced in China in 2002, immunisation levels have not yet reached a point where they can effectively limit spread. Of the 350 million people living with hepatitis B globally, one-third are Chinese. In New Zealand, one in ten people of Chinese ethnicity have hepatitis B. People aged over 25 may not have had a vaccination and testing for hepatitis B is strongly recommended. It can help Chinese people live longer, healthier lives.

The WeChat channel will feature content drawn from the foundation’s main website, as well as articles specifically targeted at Chinese communities. Bananaworks team helps tailor the key messages about the importance of getting tested and monitoring for hepatitis B, so as to increase diagnosis and monitoring rates for Chinese communities, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

To follow the channel and keep up to date with liver health news and information, please download the WeChat App and scan the QR code below.

Share this article: