Community Urged to ‘Get Tested’

Published October 14, 2016 at 14:29

The Hepatitis C Trust is holding an event in conjunction with One Voice on Friday October 14th to raise awareness of Hepatitis C in the local BAME community.

The event, which will be held at Jamia Ghosia Mosque in Blackburn from 10.30am-4.00pm will also feature an antibody testing facility. Raising awesome of Hepatitis B and C is part of the Baiter Sehat project.

Viral hepatitis affects over 700,000 people in the UK. In Blackburn and Darwen there are thought to be over 250 south Asian people living with hepatitis C, more than half probably don’t realise they are living with a potentially life threatening virus.

Mortality and morbidity from chronic hepatitis B and C is rising disproportionately among people from ethnic minorities living in England.

In Blackburn with Darwen the rate of premature mortality from liver disease between 2010 and 2012 is significantly higher than the England average for males and significantly higher than the England average for females.

This is largely attributed to alcohol related liver disease and viral hepatitis.

In some cases people can be affected for years without even knowing, during which time liver damage can occur.

The event will discuss how contamination occurs as well the precautions one can take to protect oneself.

Shabana Begum, South Asian Projects Officer for The Hepatitis C Trust, who will conduct the testing on the day of the event said:

Come and get tested, there is nothing to be frightened of. There is now a cure available for hepatitis C.

Asif Iqbal said:

I feel it is important to raise awareness because of the lack of knowledge people have of this type of disease within the Asian community.

Most people do not even realise they are currently affected by this disease until they are tested.

Early testing can prevent the disease becoming largely affected. I think all levels of society need to educate their constituents and communities about Hepatitis and encourage those at risk to be tested.

One Voice, which is delivering the Baiter Sehat project is in partnership with Blackburn with Darwen Council.