Chinese project launches in Lanarkshire

We were at Monklands Hospital in North Lanarkshire today to launch an innovative new project to support local Chinese communities to challenge hepatitis B.

The Chinese Health Project, which is being delivered in partnership with NHS Lanarkshire and the Lanarkshire Blood Borne Virus Network, will work with local Chinese community groups and businesses to raise awareness of the condition and support people to access testing. We’re also working to widen access to broader health services for Chinese communities.

There are an estimated 9,000 people living with hep B in Scotland with Chinese communities disproportionately affected. The scale of the issue in Scotland is not known, but research in England found that Chinese populations were up to seven times more likely to be affected by hepatitis B than the general population. The condition can cause serious liver damage and, although it cannot be cured, it can be managed with treatment and a vaccine is available to people at risk.

Through our outreach work, we’ll meet local groups to deliver workshops covering the basics of hepatitis B, other blood borne viruses like HIV, and sexual health, encouraging people to think about getting tested. We can also talk to people who are at greater risk of hepatitis B about getting vaccinated.

By taking a community approach, similar to our African Health Project, we hope to overcome the cultural and language barriers that often prevent people from accessing support to improve their health and wellbeing.

We’re excited to get started with the Chinese Health Project and our new project worker, Benny, is already reaching out to local community groups, churches and businesses for help.