Marilou Capati

General Practitioner, NT

Marilou Capati

Marilou Capati

 


I am a GP, GP supervisor and director of Top End Medical Services in Casuarina, NT, and a member of the Top End Clinical Council of the NT Primary Health Network.  I am passionate about migrant and refugee health and am one of the first GP prescribers of ASHM's Hep B S100 program.  

A/Prof Ben Cowie's plenary talk at AVHEC17 on the Australian Progress and challenges in Hep B was highly engaging and it is certainly true that the migration laws in Australia have been discriminatory with regards to hep B patients who may be rejected for a permanent residency.

 

He also highlighted the importance of testing people from high risk countries and Indigenous background, and stressed the role of primary care practitioners who are at the forefront and are in the best position to identify who needs monitoring and who needs treatment.   

 

Another issue he mentioned with regards to GPs who have patients with chronic hep b but are untreated or maybe under monitored is the possibility of litigation down the track if these patients develop cirrhosis or cancer. It is an important issue that might just be one of the things that can drive uninterested GPs to increase their awareness and treatment of this chronic disease. 

 

Link to Ben Cowie's speaker presentation here

 

 

The global impact of chronic HBV cannot be underestimated, with 257 million people affected. More people die from chronic HBV compared to HIV/AIDS or malaria.  

 

Dr. Samuel So has launched a world-wide campaign with JoinJade, which aims to educate and engage people in the community, to increase awareness in order to achieve elimination of hepatitis B and thereby decreasing mortality and morbidity. 

 

The goal is to eliminate hepatitis B and C by 2030, and although this sounds ambitious, it is not impossible.  He recommended engagement of the government to coordinate stakeholders including the criminal justice systems to treat correctional facility inmates, professional organizations to treat patients in primary care and the CDC and local health departments.   

 

In the US, Asians and Pacific Islanders make up 6% of the US population, and these groups make up more than 60% of chronic HBV in the US.  In Australia, we see an increasing number of migrants from endemic countries and in the NT, most cases of CHB are made up of Indigenous and the CALD community.   

 

He initiated the campaign in Qinghai, China and this led to the Chinese government adapting a national vaccination program for hep B, and his efforts should be lauded.

  

His Jade Ribbon campaign has reached Australian shores, and hopefully this will lead to a better community engagement with regards to awareness, as well as better primary care involvement in identifying and treating patients with CHB. 

His talk ended with a video of Jackie Chan encouraging people to get tested and treated.

 

Link through to Prof Samuel So's speaker presentation here

 

JoinJade: Access the campaign here

 

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