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Victorian Chinese coalition to eliminate hepatitis B and liver cancer

20 September 2018

The Chinese community in Victoria is 10 times more likely to have chronic hepatitis B and 6 times more likely to develop preventable liver cancer.

A new community initiative, the Chinese Health Promotion Coalition will be launched this Sunday, September 23 at Melbourne Town Hall, with one of its first priorities being the elimination of viral hepatitis B and related liver cancer within the Victorian Chinese community.

The Lord Mayor of Melbourne, Sally Capp fully supports the initiative, read her message.

“There is a lack of awareness and many misconceptions within our community about hepatitis B, causing a lot of stigma around the virus. So people shun diagnosis and do not seek care and treatment, which leads to these very high rates of preventable liver cancer cases,” said President of the Chinese Health Promotion Coalition, Marion Lau (OAM, JP, and HEP Hero).   

Ms Lau said that the Coalition was the first of its kind in Victoria focused on leading Chinese communities to respond to the urgent public health issue of viral hepatitis B and related liver cancer.

Hepatitis Victoria CEO Melanie Eagle said the elimination goals in the Victorian Government’s Victorian Hepatitis B Strategy 2016-2020 were ambitious targets, but at the halfway point in the Strategy the data shows we have a long way to go to getting people tested and treated.

“To achieve these goals it is absolutely essential we work together with those affected and that is why I am so inspired today by the leadership being taken by the Chinese-Australian community in tackling this condition and promoting health,” she said. 

According to the latest Hepatitis B Mapping Project National Report, the majority of people living with chronic hepatitis B (CHB) were born overseas, with the most common region of origin the Asia-Pacific (41%), and the most common country of birth among these born overseas were China (17%).

The launch will include the unvieling of the Victorian Chinese Jade Ribbon Action Statement. This is starting point of CHinese Coalition efforts to create resources and tools to raise awareness, reduce new infections of hepatitis B and maximise the wellbeing and liver cancer prevention outcomes for Chinese-Australians living with chronic hepatitis B across the state.

The Chinese Coalition’s public awareness campaigns will be aligned to the international viral hepatitis awareness movement whihc is symbolised by a jade ribbon. However, it will utilise the uniquely designed Jade Ribbon (tick) campaign logo produced by Hepatitis Victoria and suggestive of Chinese cultural elements, as a symbol to rally support and attention. 

Hepatitis Victoria, in collaboration with Chinese partners began seeking funds to support the establishment of a Chinese community coalition in early 2016. A small health promotion grant from the Australian Chinese Medical Association of Victoria (ACMAV) and a community grant of Melbourne City Council in late 2017, has assisted in forming the community coalition announced the day before the 2018 Mid-Autumn Festival of Asian communities. 

  • The Chinese Health Promotion Coalition proudly announces its founding members are:
  • Australian Chinese Medical Association of Victoria
  • Chinese Community Council of Australia Victorian Chapter
  • Chinese Cancer & Chronic Illness Society of Victoria
  • Chinese Community Health Advisory of Australia
  • Chinese Professional and Business Association
  •  Federation of Chinese Associations
  • Hepatitis Victoria
  • Jade Ribbon Health Promotion Team
  • OSTAR International Media Group
  • Victoria Soong Ching Ling Foundation


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