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 , 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.