World Refugee Day:Spotlight on health
20 June 2019
Today is World Refugee Day, a day we commemorate because of the significant health burden borne by refugees which includes viral hepatitis.
In 2013, viral hepatitis was a leading cause of death worldwide with a staggering 1.46 million deaths recorded, a toll higher than that from HIV, tuberculosis or malaria. More than 90% of this burden is due to infections with the hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV). Population displacement through war and civil strife and other causes adds to these poor health outcomes.
Hepatitis Victoria offers many multi-language resources for those keen to learn more about viral hepatitis. Specifically we also offer advice for those living with viral hepatitis applying for a visa.
There are also many services in Victoria that help support refugees and those seeking asylum.
If you are a health or community worker and you’re wondering where to refer people seeking health
care, who are also seeking asylum or are refugees, you can refer to this diagram.
In the North-West catchment, in Brunswick, Cabrini at 503
Sydney Road, is run by a mixture of paid and pro-bono staff, delivering health
services to people seeking asylum who do not have a Medicare card, or who have
a Medicare card, but no income. To be eligible for their free or bulk-billed services which include a
nurse clinic, GPs, specialist mental health services including psychiatry,
pathology, medical imaging, pharmacy and immunisation proof of applying for asylum is needed. (03) 8388 7874
In the West in Footscray, you can access a range of health
services at the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (ASRC) including the services listed at
Cabrini, as well as assisting people with chronic health conditions, podiatry,
physiotherapy, massage and acupuncture.
The ASRC prioritises people seeking
asylum without access to Medicare. The Asylum Seeker Resource Centre offers a range
of supports and frontline services. You can join them online on 20
June at the ASRC Telethon on World Refugee Day as the community comes together
to raise funds in support of people seeking asylum.