A conference next month aims to keep New Zealand’s nurses and healthcare workers up to date with news and changes relating to hepatitis.
The National Hepatitis Nurse Conference (#HepatitisConferenceNZ), to be held at Te Papa on July 12 and 13, is being organised by the Hepatitis Foundation of NZ. The annual event is open to health professionals working in the primary care, public health, prison, midwifery, community alcohol and drugs, opioid treatment or mental health fields who have an interest or portfolio in viral hepatitis. While registrations have now closed for this year’s conference, the Hepatitis Foundation invites interested people to register early for next year.
Hepatitis Foundation Nurse Manager Kelly Hayes says about 82 people will attend this year, and it’s great to see such a strong interest. The event will feature presentations on a range of relevant topics. Speakers include Hepatitis Foundation medical director Dr Chris Moyes, Auckland Liver Transplant Unit hepatologist and professor of medicine Ed Gane and Sarah Middleton, clinical research co-ordinator at Auckland District Health Board’s liver research unit.
The conference comes just ahead of World Hepatitis Day on July 28. This is a global event that raises awareness about hepatitis and highlights the importance of getting tested if you think you may be at risk. Awareness of the virus is low nationally and globally, and the Hepatitis Foundation will run a promotional campaign in the lead-up to World Hepatitis Day to help change this.
Hepatitis B and C are blood-borne viruses. Hepatitis B can also be contracted by sharing body fluids with an infected person. The viruses cause inflammation of the liver, which can lead to cirrhosis or liver cancer if left undiagnosed. Approximately 100,000 New Zealanders live with chronic hepatitis B, with more than 500 million people worldwide living with chronic hepatitis B or C.
The Hepatitis Foundation is a charitable trust promoting positive health outcomes for people living with chronic hepatitis. It provides a follow-up programme offering regular blood tests, education and support. There are 25,000 patients enrolled in the programme. For more information call 0800 33 20 10 or visit hepatitisfoundation.org.nz.
© The Hepatitis Foundation of New Zealand 2016