Mildura Mayor commits to fight viral hepatitis
12 July 2019
Cr Simon Clemence, Mayor of Mildura is calling for more awareness to fight the serious incidence of viral hepatitis in Mildura and the Murray Primary Health Network region.
The Mayor opened a HEPReady® workshop held in the town last month where he spoke to health and community workers about the seriousness of the issue that impacts on about a thousand people in Mildura and about 9000 across the Loddon Mallee.
"Unfortunately, there is a lack of awareness of the condition and a stigma attached to it, and the majority of people who have hepatitis don’t even know or they ignore the fact that they have it. Consequently some find out too late," he said.
"In Victoria, about 6 people die every week of hepatitis related causes, more than the State’s road toll, and liver cancer, which can be one of the results of hepatitis, is the fastest growing form of cancer in Australia.
"Many health professionals believe there is a general ‘apathy’ or lack of understanding about viral hepatitis. Health professionals who attended the Mildura workshop are keen to learn more about this disease and to get the message out to the community," Cr Clemence said.
"What you can do as a community member is to ask your doctor for a blood test for hepatitis. Remember, you may have it and not even know. There’s usually little or no charge for the blood test because it’s on the Pharmaceutical Benefit Scheme.
"The Victorian Government wants to eliminate hep B and C by 2030, and to reach this goal more awareness is needed, so they are running workshops like the one I attended. The message was clear, do something positive for your health and get a blood test."