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New way to reach Chinese communities at risk of hepatitis B

A new WeChat channel will help us better reach one of its target communities.

New Zealand’s Chinese communities are among the highest risk groups for liver diseases such as hepatitis B. With that in mind, and with 98.7 percent of Chinese people in NZ using WeChat, our CEO Susan Hay says it makes perfect sense for the organisation to be embracing it.

“New Zealand is one of the many countries supporting the World Health Organisation’s goal to eliminate global hepatitis by 2030. To work toward this, our team is striving to increase diagnosis and treatment for the at-risk groups, including Chinese. Auckland Liver Unit research has shown patients receiving annual follow-up from the foundation have better health outcomes, with early detection of advanced disease, than those who are not. 

“Our new WeChat channel will help us educate Chinese people about the importance of getting tested and monitoring for hepatitis B, and increase diagnosis and monitoring rates,” Susan says.

Chinese immigrants are at risk of contracting hepatitis B because, while a vaccination programme was introduced in China in 2002, immunisation levels have not yet reached a point where they can effectively limit spread. Of the 350 million people living with hepatitis B globally, one-third are Chinese. In New Zealand, one in 10 people of Chinese ethnicity have hepatitis B. People aged over 25 may not have had a vaccination and testing for hepatitis B is strongly recommended. It can help Chinese people live longer, healthier lives.

“Recent research shows a large percentage of Chinese New Zealanders are unaware of the risks, and this needs to change to help reduce the incidence of hepatitis B in New Zealand,” Susan says.

The channel will feature content drawn from the foundation’s main website, as well as articles specifically targeted at Chinese people. To follow the channel and keep up to date with liver health news and information, simply scan our QR code (pictured above).


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