Niagara Health is hosting a community event in Niagara Falls next week to mark Canadian Viral Hepatitis Elimination Day.
The event will be held at St. Andrew’s United Church on Morrison St on Thursday, May 11 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and will include education about the services offered by Niagara Health’s Hepatitis C Care Clinic, other resources for hepatitis C, liver health, addiction and mental health services in the region, private testing and more. The event will also feature a community health and social services fair, with a wide variety of community organizations and programs represented.
“The rate of those with hepatitis C in Niagara is higher than the provincial average,” says Brenda Yeandle, Manager of Clinical Services in Addiction Services and Mental Health at Niagara Health. “Hepatitis C is preventable and curable if detected early enough. It is important that we continue to raise awareness around prevention, testing and treatment options.”
This is the first year Niagara Health is hosting an event recognizing Canadian Viral Hepatitis Elimination Day in May, in addition to the annual World Hepatitis Day event at Montebello Park in St. Catharines, being held this year on Friday, July 28.
Hepatitis C is spread when blood carrying the virus gets into the bloodstream of another person. The virus attacks the liver and if left untreated can result in the development of cirrhosis, liver failure and liver cancer.
Registered nurses from the clinic, as well as registered nurses from Niagara Region Public Health’s Outreach service program, will offer private hepatitis C testing at the events. The Screen For Life Coach will also be at the event.
“The Hepatitis C Care Clinic team works diligently with our local partners to provide services to communities throughout Niagara,” says Karen Usick, Registered Nurse and Community Co-ordinator for the Hepatitis C Care Clinic. “The first step is to be tested and we will work with you to learn your options.”
The Hepatitis C Care Clinic, which is part of the Addiction Services program, opened in 2011 and provides testing, treatment, case management, counselling and support, and education and workshops.