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10 May 2018

“Only your blood can tell the story” - Chronic hepatitis B will be eliminated in NT in five years

The Guardian Australia has profiled a new NHMRC Partnership Project that has been awarded to frequent Doherty Institute collaborator, Dr Jane Davies, for A Partnership Approach to Sustainably eliminating Chronic Hepatitis B in the Northern Territory: Hep B PAST.

Dr Jane Davies, a from the Menzies School of Health Research, has worked for the past eight years to develop the approach alongside Aboriginal health professionals, including Sarah Bukulatjpi from the Miwatj Health in Galiwin’ku (Elcho Island), where they trialled what they call the 'one-stop liver shop'.

“It’s a model we piloted with that community, and [it] involved our clinical service going out to the community, taking a portable ultrasound, taking a portable fibroscan, and giving people everything they need for their hepatitis B care in one session, in their home community,” Dr Davies said.

The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) has allocated an additional $1.4 million to the project, which will help translate the app into 10 more Aboriginal languages, meaning about 70 per cent of Aboriginal people in the NT will be able to access information about chronic hepatitis B (CHB) in their first languages, for the first time.

The goal of this partnership project is to improve the care of Indigenous people living with CHB in the Northern Territory. This will be achieved by developing an educational app about hepatitis B in 11 Indigenous languages and training Aboriginal Health Practitioners to use the app. A register of people living with chronic hepatitis B will be created and a core clinical care team allocated to allow organised delivery of recommended care to be available to everyone who needs it.

Staff from the Doherty Institute, including those from the WHO Collaborating Centre for Viral Hepatitis and the Indigenous Health Cross Cutting Discipline Research Group, will be collaborating with Dr Davies on this NHMRC project. 

CLICK HERE for more information in The Guardian Australia.