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Registrations open for nurse conference

The Hepatitis Foundation of New Zealand’s 2019 national nurse conference will be held in Whakatane.

The annual conference, on from October 3-4, aims to keep nurses in the primary care, prison, public health and midwifery fields up to date with hepatitis news and developments. This is the first time it has been held in the Eastern Bay.

While the foundation is based in Whakatane, last year’s conference was held in Wellington to make it accessible for nurses around NZ. Previous conferences have also been held elsewhere. But chief executive Susan Hay said this year it made sense to hold the event locally. “This is where the foundation started, so the Eastern Bay has a strong hepatitis history. We want to showcase that history and the attractions of the region.”

The Hepatitis Foundation has completed many major screening, vaccination and research programmes in New Zealand, the Pacific Islands and Vietnam during its 30-year history, including a 1984 Kawerau Seroprevalence Study that saw 93 percent of the town’s population tested for hepatitis B. It now runs a free national long-term monitoring programme that supports people living with chronic hepatitis B.

Hepatitis B spreads through contact with blood or the bodily fluids of someone with the virus. It leads to liver inflammation and scarring and can result in cirrhosis. It can also lead to liver cancer or failure. Chronic hepatitis B is a long-term infection that lasts more than six months and needs regular monitoring.

The 2019 conference theme is ‘engaging communities’, to reflect the ongoing work by the foundation and wider health care sector to reach people and improve health outcomes for New Zealanders.

Registrations of interest are now open. Places are limited so please email us as soon as possible if you’d like to attend.


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